Saidiya Hartman’s highly anticipated new book, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval, wrestles with the question: What is a free life? In the early 20th century, a social revolution unfolded in the city. Hartman’s book explores the ways young black women created forms of intimacy and kinship indifferent to the dictates of respectability, and outside the bounds of law. They cleaved to and cast off lovers, exchanged sex to subsist, and revised the meaning of marriage. Longing and desire fueled their experiments in how to live and shaped a cultural movement that transformed the urban landscape. Scholars join Hartman (above) to discuss this book’s vital contributions.