High Heel is a riveting, ferociously intelligent, deeply liberating book. I would like to press a copy of it into the hands of every woman I know—and every man, too.”

Jami Attenberg, bestselling author of All Grown Up

Coming March 21st 2019 from Bloomsbury

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Fetishized, demonized, celebrated, and outlawed, the high heel is central to the iconography of modern womanhood. But are high heels good? Are they feminist? What does it mean for a woman (or, for that matter, a man) to choose to wear them?

Meditating on the labyrinthine nature of sexual identity and the performance of gender, High Heel moves from film to fairy tale, from foot binding to feminism, and from the golden ratio to glam rock. Summer Brennan considers this most provocative of fashion accessories as a nexus of desire and struggle, sex and society, violence and self expression, setting out to understand what it means to be a woman by walking a few hundred years in her shoes.

Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.

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About The Series

“Object Lessons is a series of concise, collectable, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. Each book starts from a specific inspiration: an historical event, a literary passage, a personal narrative, a technological innovation—and from that starting point, explores the object of the title, gleaning a singular lesson or multiple lessons along the way. Featuring contributions from writers, artists, scholars, journalists, and others, the emphasis throughout is lucid writing, imagination, and brevity. Object Lessons paints a picture of the world around us, and tells the story of how we got here, one object at a time.” —Bloomsbury


About The Author

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Summer Brennan is an award-winning investigative journalist and author, born and raised in Northern California. She received the 2016 Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award, and was a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. Her first book, The Oyster War: The True Story of a Small Farm, Big Politics, and the Future of Wilderness in America, published in August 2015, was shortlisted for the Orion Book Award and was a finalist for the Northern California Independent Booksellers Award. She has written for New York Magazine, The Paris Review, Scientific American, Longreads, Pacific Standard, McSweeneys, The Millions, Lit Hub, Buzzfeed, The Rumpus, The San Francisco Chronicle, and others. She received a bachelor’s from Bennington College, where she studied painting and poetry, and a master’s from NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where she studied journalism and Middle Eastern politics. A longtime communications consultant at the United Nations, she worked on special political issues from 2008 to 2010—including decolonization, atomic radiation, outer space technologies, and the Middle East—and on nuclear weapons, disarmament, and international security from 2011 to 2015. Other UN projects include work on the environment, gender equality, human rights, and the UN Global Ebola Response. Her third book, The Parisian Sphinx, about 19th century French artist and model Victorine Meurent, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She lives in Brooklyn and New Mexico.