New Book | The Wig: A Hairbrained History

Posted in books by Editor on October 12, 2020

From Reaktion Books and the University of Chicago Press:

Luigi Amara, The Wig: A Hairbrained History, translated by Christina MacSweeney (London: Reaktion Books, 2020), 256 pages, ISBN: 978-1789143461, £15 / $23.

Whether in a court room or a dressing room, wigs come in many forms, and represent many things: from power, to sexuality, to parody, to health, to self-identity, to disguise. Wigs are present at parties and in chemotherapy rooms, in pop music and contemporary art. In this witty and eloquent book, Luigi Amara reflects on the curious history of the wig, and along the way takes a sideways look at Western civilization. Amara illuminates how the wig has starred throughout history, from ancient Egypt to the court of Louis XIV, and from British courtrooms to drag shows today. Containing many striking and unusual images, the book appeals to a wide audience, from those interested in the history of fashion to philosophy, art, culture, and aesthetics.

Luigi Amara is the author of many poetry collections, essays, and children’s books, including Nu)n(ca, winner of the International Poetry Prize in Spanish, and The School of Boredom. He lives in Mexico City. Christina MacSweeney is an award-winning literary translator specializing in Latin American fiction.


An Otherworldly Prologue
A Theory of Disguise
Casanova, Wigs and Masks
The She-wolf of the Night: Messalina
The Rage Called Wig
Samson at the Roland-Garros
The Counter-philosophy of the Wig
The Future Was a Purple Wig
The Mannequin and the Dark Object of Desire
Andy Warhol’s Wig
The Hemisphere in a Wig
On the Other Side of the Mirror of Horror
Music Curls
Capillary Plagiarism
The Indiscreet Charm of Hair
On Remains and Other Relics
Dressing Up Justice
Towering Hairdos
Abbé de Choisy or the Inner Woman
Cindy Sherman in Simulationland
Death Will Come and Shall Be Wearing a Wig
A Bald Wig in Search of a Head
In and Out of the Theatre
Stony Hair
Wigs at the Extremes of Crime
On Nudity or Venus in a Wig
Reinvention by Hair
Devotional Hairstyles
The Chimeric Wig
That Old Camp Stridency
The Tangled Mop of Fetish
A Knife Named Guillotine
The Discourse of False Hair

Bedside Reading
Photo Acknowledgements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: