Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto (Hardcover)

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Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto By Tricia Hersey Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

I love a manifesto, and this one is a strident call for Rest as a tool in our collective liberation. Hersey, an American artist, theologian, and activist, describes how slavery and capitalism stripped people of their common humanity and dignity, and continues to demand that we measure our worth in terms of productivity and anything we can monetize. She calls for Naps! Reflective time! Creative time! and flat-out Sitting around doing absolutely nothing! But don't be smug, it is harder to reclaim Rest than it sounds, and you owe it to yourself to understand why.  


— From Sarah P.



Disrupt and push back against capitalism and white supremacy. In this book, Tricia Hersey, aka The Nap Bishop, encourages us to connect to the liberating power of rest, daydreaming, and naps as a foundation for healing and justice.

What would it be like to live in a well-rested world? Far too many of us have claimed productivity as the cornerstone of success. Brainwashed by capitalism, we subject our bodies and minds to work at an unrealistic, damaging, and machine‑level pace –– feeding into the same engine that enslaved millions into brutal labor for its own relentless benefit.

In Rest Is Resistance, Tricia Hersey, aka the Nap Bishop, casts an illuminating light on our troubled relationship with rest and how to imagine and dream our way to a future where rest is exalted. Our worth does not reside in how much we produce, especially not for a system that exploits and dehumanizes us. Rest, in its simplest form, becomes an act of resistance and a reclaiming of power because it asserts our most basic humanity. We are enough. The systems cannot have us.

Rest Is Resistance is rooted in spiritual energy and centered in Black liberation, womanism, somatics, and Afrofuturism. With captivating storytelling and practical advice, all delivered in Hersey’s lyrical voice and informed by her deep experience in theology, activism, and performance art, Rest Is Resistance is a call to action, a battle cry, a field guide, and a manifesto for all of us who are sleep deprived, searching for justice, and longing to be liberated from the oppressive grip of Grind Culture.

About the Author

Tricia Hersey is an artist, poet, theologian and community organizer. She is the founder of The Nap Ministry, an organization that examines rest as a form of resistance by curating sacred spaces for the community to rest via Collective Napping Experiences, immersive workshops, performance art installations, and social media. Tricia is a global pioneer and originator of the movement to understand the liberatory power of rest. She is the creator of the Rest is Resistance and Rest as Reparations frameworks. Her research interests include Black liberation theology, womanism, somatics, and cultural trauma. Tricia is a Chicago native and currently lives in South Georgia.

Praise For…

Rest Is Resistance left me feeling elated. This book reminds us that we are in charge of our restoration. In these pages, Tricia has offered us an invitation to take our power back.” —Alexandra Elle, author of After the Rain and How We Heal

“Sometimes the window is open and a breeze comes through singing a sweet song:  it is nap time.  Grandmother sits on the front porch; grandpapa cuts the grass.  It is a song.  You nap.  I nap. The angels hug us.  A book settles beside us.  Rest Is Resistance.  It is a war we will win.”—Nikki Giovanni, Poet

“With Rest Is Resistance, Tricia Hersey helps us understand that rest is how we can sustain ourselves as we awaken to the truth of the toxic systems of our times. She is not ahead of or above us in this journey, but right here in the midst of social media addiction and overwork and systemic frustration, shouting that she can see an opening. She offers us rest not instead of the incredible work we are doing, but as a way to undergird all our efforts against capitalism and white supremacy. She shows us that our dream space is sacred, and rest is how we reclaim access to the wisdom there. Naps and all kinds of rest are portals through which we return to ourselves. Tricia, sounding like an ancestor who is DONE seeing us suffer, is inviting us to join her and step on through.”—adrienne maree brown, author of Emergent Strategy and Pleasure Activism

“If the rude stillness of rest is a sermon, Tricia Hersey is its underground prophet. Tricia's fierce insistence that rest is resistance is more than a plea for us to take occasional vacations, and nothing less than a spell masterfully crafted to evacuate us from the settlement politics of capture. Read this book. Then sleep, irreverently, knowing you shake worlds as you do.” —Báyò Akómoláfé, Ph.D., author of These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity's Search for Home

"Vivid, deeply researched and moving… Hersey’s manifesto towards radical restoration is lifegiving"—Glory Edim, author of On Girlhood and Well-Read Black Girl

“Tricia Hersey’s Nap Ministry changed my life. Rest Is Resistance is more than a book — it is one of the most vital interventions of our time.”—Casey Gerald, author of There Will Be No Miracles Here

“Lay your ass down and read this book right now! Rest Is Resistance is an inspiring, affirming and revolutionary balm. Tricia and the Nap Ministry’s ethos have changed my life, and work, for the better and this manifesto is no different. With compassionate inquiry and actionable offerings, Tricia divinely guides us further into rest, ourselves, and our collective liberation.”—Rachel Ricketts, spiritual activist and author of Do Better

“This book will save lives and transform the world. Tricia Hersey speaks the truth about rest, a truth that begins our unraveling from the lies of white supremacy and capitalism. Gradually we refuse to live at a machine pace. We surrender to the beautiful experiment of being human. We return to our truest selves. This is a book to read again and again, slowly, savoring it sentence by sentence. I'll be giving copies to everyone I work with and everyone I love.”—Emily Nagoski Ph.D., Bestselling author of Come As You Are and Burnout

“Over the span of several days, I read Rest Is Resistance as a meditative practice to alter my pace and ground my soul in this frenzied grind culture.  Unlike other texts that list a litany of strategies to stave off exhaustion, Hersey presents a lullaby of liberation that frames rest as a portal for healing and imagination available to all. Once you open this book prepare to breathe more deeply and come to see the world more clearly.  In the words of the Nap Bishop,  ‘The Doors of the Nap Temple are open.  Won’t you come?’”—Gregory C. Ellison II, Ph.D., Founder of Fearless Dialogues and Associate Professor at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology

“Tricia Hersey whispers ‘rest is a form of resistance’ to me, to you, to those who think resistance is always movement. Her message is essential: Sit. Lay down. Slow down. Rest is a necessary step in reclaiming our power to resist systemic oppression.”—Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped from the Beginning

Rest Is Resistance” is a clarion call for our generation. In this pioneering book, Tricia Hersey invites us all to opt out of “grind culture” and embrace our basic and sacred human right to self-care, relaxation, and rest. As Hersey makes clear, this revolutionary praxis is especially important for Black people who have historically and contemporarily been primarily valued for our labor. Ultimately, Hersey reminds us that leisure is not only a way to restore and rejuvenate, but it is also an act of resistance as we hurtle towards end-stage capitalism.”—Bryant Terry, James Beard and NAACP Image award-winning author of Black Food and Editor-in-Chief of 4 Color Books

“Hersey’s ministry background shines through in her passionate and eloquent arguments that read like a clear-eyed sermon… the provocative message will appeal to those tired of grind culture.”—Publishers Weekly

“Exquisitely beautiful…a book to read and reread with a pen in hand and pad beside you; one that you will find yourself wanting to give to friends, coworkers, and strangers.” —BookPage

"Rest Is Resistance connects the dots between capitalism and white supremacy. Rest, Hersey posits, asserts humanity and pushes back against all-consuming grind culture."—TIME

"A plan of action to help people challenge the idea that our bodies are machines to be used for capitalism’s profit as opposed to truly belonging to us"—Essence

"In a culture that often seems obsessed with output, Hersey is more focused on the inner calm and self-knowledge that can come with proper rest...and on investigating who has traditionally been denied that rest and its myriad benefits."—Vogue

"[Hersey] is an artist at heart...She approaches the notion of collective rest as a form of performance art, incorporating elements of Black liberation theology, Afrofuturism and poetry into her messaging."—The New York Times

"A stunning call to a slower, richer life of faith”—Sojourner

"Get the book and then read, nap, rest, relax and repeat"—Ms. Magazine

"[Rest Is Resistance] teaches readers that rest is an essential tool in reclaiming power and resisting systemic oppression"—Afro News

"extremely important and brilliant work... [Hersey] is a revolution"—Glennon Doyle

"[A] thought-provoking manifesto against ‘hustle culture'"—News@Northeastern

Narrating her own work, Hersey makes the most of her experience as a poet, infusing her words with a driving cadence tempered by her compassion for the suffering that she sees around her...Hersey’s thoughtful championing of rest and resistance makes an impact.—Sarah Hashimoto, Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316365215
ISBN-10: 0316365211
Publisher: Little, Brown Spark
Publication Date: October 11th, 2022
Pages: 224
Language: English