“Who are we to each other when we’re afraid?” Kisha Lewellyn Schlegel asks in this moving and original debut essay collection. Her answer is a lyric examination of the icons that summon and soothe our fears. From Donald Trump to the Virgin Mary, Darth Vader to the Dalai Lama, Schlegel turns cultural criticism personal with bracing intelligence and vulnerability. Each essay is woven through with other voices [Baldwin, Auden, Du Bois, Cixous] positioning Schlegel's arguments and meditations within a diverse and dynamic literary lineage.
Fear Icons is a vital and timely inquiry into the complex relationship between love and fear—and the ways that each intensifies the other.