In Sock, part of Bloomsbury's Object Lessons series, which probes the depths of everyday items, essayist Kim Adrian takes a closer look at a consistently overlooked, nearly essential article of clothing: the sock.

Starting with the invention of the hay sock in the Ötztal Alps around 3,300 BCE, and moving through time to the fetishized, cozy slipper-socks worn today, Adrian delves into the history of an object that is donned daily around the globe. Her narrative swells from this pure historical account into a series of related musings on the fragility of the human form as she considers the physical awkwardness of a foot. Adrian also explores how the foot and the sock are connected to desire and human compassion. She uncovers revelatory facts such as how the nerve endings in our feet may explain the prevalence of foot fetishes, and how images of discarded shoes can be emotionally resonant.

Through a discussion of the footwear's material, social and cultural evolution, Sock reflects on the brilliance present in the minutiae of our lives. With piercing wit, idiosyncratic humor and sharply insightful moments of personal examination, Adrian uses the most domestic of items as a lens through which to view the inelegance and wondrousness of humanity. Encompassing the utility of protecting an essentially vulnerable, uncomfortable body and the bonds mothers form with the objects that cover the delicate toes of their babies, Adrian's warm, insightful investigation will give this common object new prominence in any reader's mind. --Alice Martin, freelance writer and editor

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