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The Art of Life
by Zygmunt Bauman
John Wiley & Sons, August 2008

This new book by Zygmunt Bauman—one of the most original and influential social thinkers writing today—is not a book of designs for the art of life nor a 'how to' book: the construction of a design for life and the way it is pursued is and cannot but be an individual responsibility and individual accomplishment. It is instead a brilliant account of conditions under which our designs-for-life are chosen, of the constraints that might be imposed on their choice and of the interplay of design, accident and character that shape their implementation. Last but not least, it is a study of the ways in which our society—the liquid modern, individualized society of consumers—influences (but does not determine) the way we construct and narrate our life trajectories.