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September 20, 2018

Shorties (The 2018 Man Booker Prize Shortlist, Gillian Welch on Her Song "Everything Is Free," and more)

Washington Black

The shortlist for the 2018 Man Booker Prize has been announced.

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson
The Long Take by Robin Robertson
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
Milkman by Anna Burns
The Overstory by Richard Powers
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan


Gillian Welch talked to Rolling Stone about her song, "Everything Is Free."


September's best eBook deals.

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Ester and Ruzya by Masha Gessen
Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor


Sophie Mackintosh described how a Joy Division song inspired a short story at the Guardian.


NYLON interviewed author Jen Doll.


Julie Byrne played a Tiny Desk Concert.


Stream John Carpenter's updated theme for his new Halloween film.


Book Riot recommended September's best books by British authors.


DIY interviewed singer-songwriter Brooke Bentham.


Reese Witherspoon talked books and reading with the New York Times.


Stream a new Doe Paoro song.


The Rumpus Book Club interviewed author Kimberly Lojewski.


NPR Music is streaming Loretta Lynn's new album Wouldn't It Be Great.


The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed author David L. Ulin.


Stream a new song by the Dodos.


Literary Hub examined the state of African science fiction.


Stream a new Rhett Miller song.


Vogue profiled cartoonist Liana Finck.


Noisey interviewed singer-songwriter Kurt Vile.


CrimeReads recommended albums that evoke the gritty realism of crime fiction.


Stereogum ranked Metric's songs.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists






September 19, 2018

Kimberly Lojewski's Playlist for Her Story Collection "Worm Fiddling Nocturne in the Key of a Broken Heart"

Worm Fiddling Nocturne in the Key of a Broken Heart

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Imaginative and often surreal, Kimberly Lojewski's Worm Fiddling Nocturne in the Key of a Broken Heart is one of the year's most impressive short story collections.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"Magic realism meets bildungsroman... In just a few pages, Lojewski creates deeply imaginative and textured worlds. However mundane the plights of her characters--a crush on a boy, a tense mother-daughter relationship--those surreal environments make magic of the moments."


In her own words, here is Kimberly Lojewski's Book Notes music playlist for her story collection Worm Fiddling Nocturne in the Key of a Broken Heart:



My stories stem from obsessions and fascinations. And a lot of these are musical. I am absolutely that person that plays a song over and over… and over again, in order to evoke whatever imagining I’m trying to get on paper. Talk to anyone who has ever been a passenger in my car and they will bemoan the torturous repetitions of sea shanties, twangy bluegrass, humpback mating calls, and Cajun Zydeco.

The playlist for my short story collection, Worm Fiddling Nocturne in the Key of a Broken Heart, spans the breadth of Klezmer Circus Punk to Polish lullabies. I narrowed it down to one song for each story, with the exception of the “Ballad of Sparrowfoot” which has three picks because, really, that entire story is about the power of song.

“Lochloosa” by JJ Grey and MOFRO
The title story of my collection is about a worm fiddler and an alligator wrestler and it takes place in the strange and sweltering Florida swamps that I grew up in. Pretty much every song that JJ Grey has ever written depicts this world far more eloquently than I ever could, but this song in particular always makes my pulse slow down to a southern crawl and I can nearly smell the silty black waters and see the slow creep of alligator eyes dotting the surface.

“Cape Cod Girls” by Baby Gramps
Sea shanties were the theme for “About the Hiding of Buried Treasure,” and Baby Gramps became my go-to musician for this. In this story, the main character, Charlie, lives on a remote, treasure-filled island with his adopted sister Jezebel, a hot air-ballooning rake, and a rummy old pirate of a father. Baby Gramps, who has a Popeye the Sailor-type of singing voice, became the inspiration for the father. This song is a straight-up salty sailor’s anthem, replete with a didgeridoo-like vocal performance, historically accurate south Australian sea shanty lyrics, and a fervor that would compel any good man or woman to devote their god fearin’ soul to the mighty, mighty ocean.

“The Midnight Special” by Leadbelly
In “Baba Yaga’s House of Forgotten Things,” a group of kids are sentenced to a juvenile delinquent camp run by a troupe of terror-inducing grannies and overseen by Baba Yaga, the monster-witch of Slavic folklore. Although I was tempted to use one of the polkas that the grannies would have played on their record player, I settled on Leadbelly’s rendition of this traditional prison folk song. This is because I love the fact that when Leadbelly played this song at Angola Prison in 1934, he adlibbed a few verses about a prison jailbreak. It would have given those poor kids in the granny camp such hope.

“Dearly Departed” by Shakey Graves
The story “How to Get Rid of a Ghost (and other Lessons from Camp Pispogutt),” is about an alcoholic camp counselor who is being haunted by her dead friend. With its ghostly refrain and bone clacking rhythm, I like to think this song makes a fitting companion to the story. It is practically made for driving with the windows rolled down, a bottle of whiskey stashed in the glove compartment, a filicidal flying squirrel on your hands, and about a billion other problems that you don’t want to face. Especially when you’re a girl trying to escape your ghost.

“The Fiddler and the Devil” by Bella’s Bartok
Bella’s Bartok is one of my favorite bands, and they also used to be my next door neighbors. I listened to their music a lot when I was writing “The Ballad of Sparrowfoot.” Literally. Being that they lived next door. But it was a lucky fit. This song is such a fun clash of circus gypsy music, Klezmer punk, and handlebar mustaches. It is absolutely perfect for a bunch of misfit monsters in a Beastie Bazaar planning an insurrection. I think I may have actually seen a macaque riding a tricycle and wearing M. Bastien’s stolen top hat at one of their shows.

“The Littlest Birds” by The Be Good Tanyas
This one is for Sparrowfoot herself. Although she can’t sing throughout most of the story, I feel sure that once she escapes the Beastie Bazaar and finds her voice, she travels through the bayous of Louisiana warbling this refrain. It’s a song for liberated bird-girls everywhere.

“La Vie en Rose” by Edith Piaf
Minette is a French-Cajun water nymph who riles up the monsters and helps Sparrowfoot plan her escape. I imagine her singing this wistfully in her cage as she pins turtle shells and waterweeds in her hair.

“Byl Sobie Krol (There Was a King)” by Bachka Konieczna
A kolysanka is a traditional Polish lullaby. My grandmother used to sing these to me as a child, and that is where the inspiration for “When the Water Witches Come Dancing for Their Supper” comes from. Kolysanki are unbelievably beautiful and creepy, much like the rusalki who try to lure Hannah outside in the story. The song itself is about a king, a princess, and a page who find themselves in a love triangle. In an unlikely turn of events (if my Polish translations can be trusted) they are all horrifically slaughtered when a dog eats the king, a cat eats the page, and a mouse eats the princess. Then they all turn into sugary confections. And that is why Polish fairytales make for such wonderfully bizarre and macabre inspiration.

“Cornbread and Butterbeans” by Carolina Chocolate Drops
The story “One for the Crow” is an Appalachian re-telling of The Handless Maiden. Most of the principal action happens during an all-night husking bee in Hannah’s father’s cornfield. Had the Carolina Chocolate Drops been there that night, I feel certain they would have been playing jigs and reels from the sidelines. This band is amazing for resurrecting traditional songs and instruments and infusing them with some solidly modern Julliard-trained talent.

“Dominique” by Soeur Sourire
I picked this song for “The Church of the Living God and Rescue Home for Divine and Orphaned Children,” which is about a group of orphaned fairytale children who have been taken in by some self-serving nuns. Soeur Sourire, the Singing Nun, always pops into my mind whenever I imagine how the nuns would have entertained their magical wards.

“Der Hölle Rache” by Lucia Popp
I listened to a few different operas while I was working on “The Decline of a Professional Marionette,” and this aria from Die Zauberflöte became one of my favorites. The staccato parts are absolutely stunning. Cressida, the main character of the story, is an accomplished marionette who has been classically trained at the Salzburg Marionette Theatre. When she suddenly finds herself stranded in a small English village full of provincial puppets, they do not appreciate her need to burst into fancy opera numbers. Which is difficult for Cressida. Just imagine, if you could sing like this, how hard it would be to keep quiet.

“I Am Stretched on Your Grave” by Vintage Wildflowers
In “Thinking Like a Hog Deer in the Himalayas,” the main character is a homesick moth girl who pines for the mudflats and mangrove forests of her native Sundarbans. She wants to return to the place where her mother is buried. Although this folk ballad comes from a 17th century Irish poem, I think it captures the tone of longing and homesickness that Gurdeep feels in the story.

“There is a River” by Gaither Vocal Band
“Swamp Food at the Rapture Café” is about a bunch of gospel singing carnival freaks in the swamps, and the story’s protagonist is in love with a golden-throated wolf boy named Percival. David Phelps became the inspiration for that character after I heard him perform at a Gaither Homecoming show while I was dreaming up the concept for the story. If anyone can bring a girl to spiritual salvation with their voice as quickly as Percival the wolf boy, it’s this fellow.


Kimberly Lojewski and Worm Fiddling Nocturne in the Key of a Broken Heart links:

excerpt from the book

Foreword Reviews review
Kirkus review


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


Shorties (Khaled Hosseini on His New Novel, The Band Low Profiled, and more)

Sea Prayer

Khaled Hosseini discussed his new novel Sea Prayer with Morning Edition.


WNYC profiled the band Low.


September's best eBook deals.


The TLS interviewed author Rachel Kushner.


All Songs Considered shared video of a recent Nels Cline performance.


The Creative Independent interviewed author Daniel Alarcon.


BuzzFeed recommended books that capture what it's like to have mental illness.


Stream a new song by Kate Teague.


Danez Smith has been awarded the Forward poetry prize.


Stream a new J Mascis song.


Tin House interviewed author Laura van den Berg.


Patterson Hood talked to the Birmingham News about this week's release of Adam's House Cat's long-lost 1991 album, Town Burned Down.


Entropy interviewed Dzanc Books publisher Michelle Dotter.


Florence + the Machine covered Tori Amos's "Cornflake Girl."


Literary Hub previewed fall's history and biography books.


Stream a new song by MUNYA.


Literary Hub shared an excerpt from Lydia Keisling's novel The Golden State.


Stream a new Emily A. Sprague song.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists


September 18, 2018

Rita Dragonette's Playlist for Her Novel "The Fourteenth of September"

The Fourteenth of September

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Rita Dragonette's novel The Fourteenth of September is a thoughtful and moving view of the Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of a young woman.

Foreword Clarion Reviews wrote of the book:

"The ebb and flow between a nineteen-year-old’s mistakes, vulnerability, and surprising moments of insight ring achingly true. The Fourteenth of September is a moving tribute to lives altered by chance. The draft lottery and its rippling effects highlight a generation that came into adulthood amid devastating uncertainty."


In her own words, here is Rita Dragonette's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel The Fourteenth of September:



The entire process for my novel began with music. The story takes place in 1969-1970, when the country was seared apart by the Vietnam War and, accordingly, the love songs of the early teenage British Invasion years had exploded into often heavy, angry anthems of rage, politics and drugs—but always with crushing chords and a great beat you could feel up your spine as if it was reaching out to demand your attention. The stakes were high, people were getting killed, decisions had to be made. The music and lyrics spoke to us—still speaks in memories as we age and the hamster wheel of history reminds us that nothing is really ever over.

As the story came to me over the years, I’d always planned to provide music cues—titles, phrases, even the actual sounds of a refrain to get the right tune humming in the reader’s mind as they were into a scene. I used music to function, sometimes as a character, but more often as a director, providing the tone of the passage. There are many references to music of this time as the “Soundtrack of Our Lives.” Opening song chords would trigger not just the memory of an old incident or love, but also engage all your senses—the quick sulphur spark of a match being lit, the dry tongue taste after a night of grass, the soreness in the back of your throat after hours of screaming slogans, the to-the-bone shivers of freezing in a clammy November march, and always…always, the relentless bass hammering away and amplifying your excitement or your fear. Those sounds played in my head in a continuous loop as I envisioned the scenes and wrote the story. There are 29 songs on the “Playlist” for The Fourteenth of September. Here are a few that mark some of the narrative action.

“Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”: Crosby, Stills and Nash

As the book opens, Private First Class Judy Talton, who is in college on a military scholarship similar to ROTC* has been having doubts about the Vietnam War and her role in it. She decides to celebrate her 19th birthday, the title date of the novel, by surreptitiously joining the campus counterculture—just to see how the other side thinks. She’s tentative and shy and wants to be a fly on the wall, yet the campus “freaks” immediately embrace her, calling her Judy Blue Eyes, and singing the famous dew do dew do do refrain. She meets In-A-Gadda-Da-VIDA, Sweet Little Sheila, Mustang Sally, and Wizard, as in Pinball. From there, with such attention, it’s easy to slide down the rabbit hole as she gets more and more involved, threatening her future, her relationship with her family, her life as she knows it.

“Come Together”: The Beatles

A key activity by the characters is to gather in a dorm room, hang over every surface, on bunk beds, the floor, the desks…and listen to music while passing a joint and perhaps a jar of peanut butter with a Southern Comfort chaser. Records would spin for hours, the guys focusing on the riffs, playing imaginary guitars down the backs of whatever girls were sitting or lying next to them. Judy focused on the lyrics, like most teenage girls, thinking they were speaking directly to her. After several weeks of spending time with her new counterculture friends, marching, chanting and talking, she’s finding herself more and more in the movement. One night, someone plays the new Abbey Road album and they hear “Come Together” for the first time. Wizard says:

To hear this fucking incredible music. I mean, ‘Come Together,’ what else needs to be said? That’s what’s real, man. There can be no war if we think like that.

As Judy walked back to her dorm, Wizard’s words came back to her. She was starting to feel there was an incredible groundswell everywhere she looked and in everything she listened to about love and understanding and a common agreement that there was no longer any need for war. The army was wrong and Vida was right. She felt the world had started to turn a corner, and was convinced she didn’t want to be left out of it.

“Be Free”: Argent

David, the one to name her Judy Blue Eyes, becomes her first boyfriend. He introduces her to the Argent song “Be Free.” “I said you’d be free didn’t I/ Took you up to the Sky/ Said you could fly.” It’s a synchronistic mix of the yearning for love and acceptance, and the desire to break away and find herself. She takes the lyrics as a message about her life, and a signal that he understands her better than anyone she’s ever met.

“Whole Lotta Love”: Led Zeppelin

Inevitably, as Judy spends more time in the movement, drugs become part of the experience. One evening she realizes that the speed someone gave her is actually LSD and she’s tripping, mixing up reality and hopeful fantasy. This is what it “sounds” like:

At one point, Judy heard the sound of an engine. She had never been on an airplane, but now she was. Whirling, grinding sounds were coming out of the jukebox, whipping her around:

Burrrrr . . . whOOOOle lot of love . . . grrrrrrr

whole lotta love . . . grrrrrrrrrr

The zoom and roar of the guitars were the engines revving, and she was flying. She wanted to tell David she got it now; she knew how to fly. She flew for days.

“Born Under a Bad Sign”: Albert King

David is confusing for Judy. He’s so handsome that when he takes his pancake hat off and shakes his long hair back from his forehead, she holds her breath. He’s a movement organizer who desperately wants to be big “freak” on campus, but he’s also kind of a jerk. Above all, he’s leading an effort to get ROTC off campus—a program so similar to her own that it will mean the end of her her future. And yet, he’s alluring. The first time he gets her into his dorm room alone, she sees lyrics painted on his wall, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.”

He spins her a sympathetic tale, and she begins to have real feelings for him, but is he sincere or is he just a seducer?

“But there’s always the chance my luck could change.” He moved a strand of hair that had fallen over her face. “You don’t want anything covering those up, Judy Blue Eyes,” he said, and leaned down to kiss her.

“See Me, Feel Me”: The Who

Events progress rapidly as the antiwar pressure builds: the Moratorium, the march on Washington. Judy has to go home for the Thanksgiving holiday and spend time with her family, hinting to them that her feelings have changed, that the army might not be the place for her after all. It goes badly. After a confrontation at dinner she escapes into her old room.

She turned her clock radio to a heavy-metal station, switched off the lights, and lay on the bed smoking…“See Me. Feel Me.”

Feel me. She wrapped her arms around herself and realized how much she wanted to touch David. It was all she had been able to think about since they had “done it,” as Vida would have said.

By the time she heard the third repetition of the phrase and its segue into touching and healing, she decided the song was speaking to her. That’s what she needed right now, healing. She let the music play until she was so depressed she could hardly stand it. It was too much. Michael gone, losing her virginity to Wil, sleeping with David, trying to figure out what to do about the army, her parents. Heal me.

“I Want You/She’s So Heavy”: The Beatles

The oppressive chords of this song appear periodically throughout the novel to signal horror. The new draft lottery hits Judy’s campus hard. Her close friend gets a low number. Fear is rampant, drugs even more so. The song is first “heard” on Lottery Night.

She maneuvered through the crowded halls on the way to Meldrich’s room and entered through a smoky haze to the pounding rhythm of “I Want You: So . . . HEAVVVVVY.” “I’m 66,” he said, “the devil sign.”

Later, when the protestors decide to focus on getting ROTC off campus, she feels pressured to cross a line against her best interests.

The pounding rhythm of “I Want You” boomed out of the jukebox. Couldn’t anyone play another song? Her head started to throb in time with the song’s ominous, endless chorus, blotting out other sounds in the Tune Room…. Her head was still pounding so loudly she couldn’t even hear the lyrics. There was nothing but the throbbing base along the floor, pulsing up the length of her body and settling right behind her eyes, louder and louder. If ROTC went, her program would be next. Her life, as she planned it, would be over.

“Let It Be”: The Beatles

The epigraph of the book is “There will be an answer, let it be.” As Judy struggles with her decision—to stay in the army and secure her future or leave to preserve her conscience, in a female version of the decision to go to Canada—this song reverberates. Her fatalistic friend Wil has always talked about how they should just chill and let things work out the way they’re intended. He says:

“Let it flow, let it be, and what happens is supposed to happen.”

“But, like I keep telling you, Judy Blue Eyes, you’ve just got to let it be. It will all become clear...”

Can Judy do this, she wonders, until she can’t wait any longer and is forced to make her decision.


Rita Dragonette and The Fourteenth of September links:

the author's website
the author's blog
excerpt from the book

Foreword review
Kirkus review
Windy City Reviews review

Big Blend Radio interview with the author
DeKalb Chronicle interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


Shorties (The Most Important Books of the 2000s (So Far), Thoughts on the 30th Anniversary of Talk Talk's Spirit of Eden Album, and more)

Talk Talk

Vulture listed the most important books of the 2000s (so far).


Under the Radar, Stereogum, and PopMatters reconsidered Talk Talk's Spirit of Eden album on its 30th anniversary.


September's best eBook deals.

eBook on sale for $1.99 today:

Loving Day by Mat Johnson


The Quietus reconsidered the Fall's I Am Curious Oranj album o its 30th anniversary.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Lincoln Michel.


Stream a new Advance Base song.


Bookforum interviewed author Karl Ove Knausgard.


Paste profiled Kristine Leschper of the band Mothers.

“I think that’s what’s fun about making work, is for the listener or the reader to have some kind of active role in understanding it or dissecting it,” Leschper says. “I think that’s [what’s] really fun for me about reading poetry or listening to records. So I wanted to kind of create these layers folks could either spend time dissecting or not. It’s up to the listener entirely.”


Quarterly Conversation interviewed author Joshua Cohen.


Cat Power covered "Stay" by Rihanna and Mikky Ekko.


Vanity Fair recommended fall's best books.


Stream a new song by Massage.


Signature recommended the best books published in the 1970s.


Stream a new song by Men I Trust.


Granta shared a conversation between poets Danez Smith and Kaveh Akbar.


Stream a new Cloud Nothings song.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists


September 17, 2018

Anna Clark's Playlist for Her Book "The Poisoned City"

The Poisoned City

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

The San Francisco Chronicle wrote of the book:

"An exceptional work of journalism. Clark delivers a thorough account of a still-evolving public health crisis, one with an unmistakable racial subtext.... Her book is a deeply reported account of catastrophic mismanagement. But it’s also a celebration of civic engagement, a tribute to those who are fighting back against governmental malpractice."


In her own words, here is Anna Clark's Book Notes music playlist for her book The Poisoned City:



A funny thing happened while I was working on my book, The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy. While visiting my hometown, a little place on the Lake Michigan shore, I was telling my Grandma Rose about how the writing was going (hard, hard, constant, joyful, hard). She casually mentioned that she’d been born in Flint. What? How had I not known? The very city I’d been consumed by for the past few years! Not only that, she was born in January 1937 to a General Motors worker—who was right then in the midst of the historic 44-day sit-down strike. In Flint, the birthplace of GM, workers occupied three plants and brought one of most powerful companies on earth to a standstill. They wanted safer working conditions, better wages, and the right to collectively bargain. Their victory is what gave power to the nascent United Auto Workers and transformed the next century; it also set the stage for community organizing in Flint that we have seen ever since, including through the water crisis. My great-grandfather was one of the sit-down strikers, playing cards, snoozing on car seats, and burning burlap to stay warm when the heat was shut off in an attempt to freeze them out. But right in the middle of the strike, he got special permission to sneak out of the factory to be with his wife, as his third child, Rose, was born.

I love this story. It makes me feel connected to Flint. The city’s rich history, and the passion people feel for it, bewitches me. Flint isn’t only the subject of my book, or a way of understanding broader national issues, like environmental justice, democracy, and urbanism. It really has a place in my heart. It has been my honor to chronicle its story.

Cue the mixtape.

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, This Land is Your Land

This soulful rendition of the folk hymn celebrates the common good. It’s an ideal that I come back to again and again in The Poisoned City. What are cities even for, anyway? The whole premise is that we are each stronger and healthier when we share our space, our resources, our work, and our spirit, one with another.

I wanted my book to not only tell the story of a manmade water disaster, playing out amidst one of the greatest sources of freshwater on the face of the earth, but also to investigate how a city becomes vulnerable in the first place. Infrastructure makes our history of structural inequality painfully literal: some have access to safe drinking water and some do not.

We made ourselves precarious by building our cities on a compromised ideal, opting for “separate but equal” rather than “this land was made for you and me.” It is a self-perpetuating cycle. “Lead is one toxic legacy in America’s cities,” I write. “Another is segregation, secession, redlining and rebranding: This is the art and craft of exclusion. We built it into the bones of our cities as surely as we laid lead pipes. The cure is inclusion.”

The good news is that we can make better choices. We can! Sharon Jones knew this. So have the rest who have sung of country’s great possibilities.

As I was walking, now, they tried to stop me
They put up a sign that said, oh, it said: Private Property
Well, on the back side, you know it said nothing
So, it must be that side was made for you and me

Bill Evans Trio, Come Rain or Come Shine

Okay, this is a personal one. There is nobody I listened to more than Bill Evans while writing this book. And only writing this book. That’s why, song after song, album after album (but Portrait in Jazz especially, which opens with this track), his piano playing worked like hypnosis, cuing me to type out sentences even when I was exhausted. It brought brightness to the hours where I really had to push myself. Even when I felt restless and isolated—so many days of just me, my notes, and my computer screen!—it gave me a sense of friendship. ‘Ah, yes, Bill Evans: here we are again together. Let’s get back at it.’
I miss it already.

DeeDee Bridgwater, Sweet Rain

The great jazz singer DeeDee Bridgewater was made in Flint; she was raised here and got her start by performing in local clubs. I’ve got a soft spot for her 1977 album, Just Family, from which this R&B-tinged song comes. I love the breadth and sunniness in her voice. So often, the stories about Flint turns it into a chronicle of hardship, a litany of loss, and while those are real, true, and urgent stories, let’s not lose sight of the beauty that this city brings into the world. There are reasons people love this place, after all.

Tunde Olaniran, Vulnerable

Tunde Olaniran is one of the most visionary artists in today’s Flint. He takes risks, he’s curious, he’s a natural performer, and he is a champion of his own city. In this song, Olaniran celebrates vulnerability as a gift: it is an opportunity for self-love. I believe it. And I think it applies not just to us as individuals, but also us as communities.

Grand Funk Railroad, I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)

Indulge me, all right? This is of course the signature song from the popular rock band from Flint that filled arenas in the seventies. It took its name from the local Grand Trunk Western Railroad, which cut across the region. A lengthy narrative piece, the song comes complete with orchestral accompaniment and seascape sound effects, evoking the story of a looming mutiny on a ship, which was, naturally, a thinly veiled metaphor for the Vietnam War. Corny? Yes. Who cares. A lot of people like it. And the long plaintive refrain that closes the song—I am getting closer to my home—reminds me of how the band’s home city has a fair claim on giving birth to the American middle class, but also is a place where people have long been battling for the moral and civic right to live well and safely in the neighborhoods they choose.

Barney Kessel, On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever

Another one on regular rotation while writing The Poisoned City. It’s just so good! Whenever I again hear it, I will be transported to those days at the desk—I’m thinking of the good ones now, where morning light is beaming through my window, a mug of hot coffee is at my side, and I feel the rhythm of the words as if it were the pulse of my own body. The click of the keys might even keep apace with Kessel’s guitar. So many connections and discoveries came through the act of writing; there was no other way but through the craft. This is the joy of creating!

Sweet Honey in the Rock, Wade in the Water

A song of water, of children, and of healing. A splendor of multi-voiced harmony. A spiritual with deep roots for generations of freedom seekers. This is a song for Flint.


Anna Clark and The Poisoned City links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book

Christian Science Monitor review
Kirkus review
Minneapolis Star Tribune review
New York Times review
Publishers Weekly review
San Francisco Chronicle review
USA Today review

Deadline Detroit interview with the author
Largehearted Boy playlist by the author for A Detroit Anthology
VICE interview with the author
WDET interview with the author
WMUK interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


Shorties (An Excerpt from Karl Ove Knausgard's My Struggle: Book Six, A Previously Unpublished Leonard Cohen Poem, and more)

My Struggle

The New York Times Magazine shared an excerpt from Karl Ove Knausgard's My Struggle: Book Six.


The New Yorker shared a previously unpublished Leonard Cohen poem.


September's best eBook deals.

eBook on sale for $2.99 today:

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler


Sjon discussed his new novel CoDex 1962 with Longreads.


Pitchfork on the last days of the band Diarrhea Planet.


The Heavy Feather Review shared new fiction by Jamie Iredell.


Salon interviewed John Lydon.


BOMB shared new fiction by Ben Marcus.


Pitchfork examined the influence of autotune on the music industry.


Signature recommended books about fascism.


Noisey profiled the band Single Mothers.


The Millions interviewed author Daniel Torday.


Stream a new Kero Kero Bonito song.


The Guardian previewed fall's most anticipated books.


Mary Lattimore shared three cover songs at Aquarium Drunkard.


Ludmilla Petrushevskaya talked to the New Yorker about her story in this week's issue.


Beck covered Gary Numan's "Cars."


The Guardian profiled author Patrick deWitt.


Stream a new song by Dean Wareham and Cheval Sombre.


Weekend Edition interviewed author Sarah Smarsh.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists


September 14, 2018

Tita Chico's Playlist for Her Book "The Experimental Imagination"

The Experimental Imagination

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Tita Chico's The Experimental Imagination is an illuminating examination of teh relationship between literature and science in the British Enlightenment.

Jonathan Kramnick wrote of the book:

"Subtle, learned, and inventive at every turn, The Experimental Imagination is essential reading for anyone seeking to rethink the relationship between literature and science in the eighteenth century. The effort to join these histories is one of the great projects of our time. This book is the state of the art."


In her own words, here is Tita Chico's Book Notes music playlist for her book The Experimental Imagination:



Preface

I do a lot of my writing in rare book libraries in the US and the UK, which can be as quiet and dusty as you’d imagine. You need to register ahead of time and when you enter, you can only bring your wallet, papers, computer, and pencils (never pens) in a clear plastic bag. Security checks you on the way out.

Rare book libraries are often cold and the librarians know this. You can check out a pashmina in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room of the British Library, and the Folger Shakespeare Library in DC will lend you a hand-knitted woolen scarf. Plus, the Folger serves tea in the basement refectory every afternoon at 3 o’clock.

I sit for hours at these wooden tables, often with a little ache in my lower back, my mind plotting when I’ll pack up to take a coffee break or lunch. But when my headphones fill my body with music, I lose myself in words—words from the past and words of my own. The link, for me, between music and writing is about what we are hearing as we find our voices.

In my new book, I think about how literature seemed like a more reliable way of understanding the world than science did during the Enlightenment. And I listened to music all along the way.

Playlist

“French Navy,” Camera Obscura

Beginning with “spent a week in a dusty library,” this Scottish indie pop song does well on repeat. I’ve listened to it while sitting in the British Library’s Rare Books and Music Room at desk 225 (my favorite, near where my friends, Becky and Markman, usually sit), in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress (with its gorgeous rotunda and annoyingly tilted desks), and in the southern California light of the Huntington Library (with its staff who manage to ring a bell for lunch in a way that is both charming and frightening). Once, at the British Library, I kept turning up the volume on my laptop because I could only hear this song faintly. Yep, my headphones were unplugged and I got several British stares.

“Science is Real,” They Might Be Giants

With the first track on their educational children’s CD, Here Comes Science, They Might Be Giants deliver an anthem for today—an insistence that science is real. Scientists have taken to the streets for demonstrations around the globe, clasping witty placards: “Up and Atom,” “Dear Climate, You’ve Changed,” and “I was told to bring a SINE.”

These scientists are defending themselves by insisting that scientific facts are real. My book tells the story about when scientists were just beginning to develop their method and intellectual claims in the late seventeenth century. They were careful to present themselves and their findings as objective, but they also embraced their imaginations in ways that we have forgotten.

“Space Oddity,” David Bowie

The static, lonely image of an isolated astronaut, “sitting in a tin can far above the world,” has traveled with me for a long time. Bowie’s response to the flurry of space programs, and their geopolitical implications, finds resonance for me in Bernard de Fontenelle’s 1686 scientific dialogue, The Plurality of Worlds, which popularized Cartesian and Copernican cosmology. Why? Because to describe the earth’s rotation, Fontenelle imagines himself “hanging in the Air … while the Earth turns round under me.” Ground Control to Major Tom.

“Crack in the Wall,” Suzanne Vega

I was on fellowship at the University of London’s Institute for English Studies when my associate chair called me to ask if I would start teaching the graduate research methods course the next fall. I demurred, saying I don’t know how, and she pointed out that I was sitting outside of a research library … where I was doing research. We literature professors can point students to the available research tools, the databases, and the archives. But how would I explain the intellectual journey of good research? It is, in many ways, an act of imagination, as Suzanne Vega’s song so aptly captures—a crack in the wall is actually a door to another world, if you’re only willing to see it.

“Hurricane,” MS MR

When the singer of MS MR, Lizzy Plaginger, intones the lyrics of “Hurricane,” she’s using a meteorological metaphor to talk about “the inner workings of my mind” and her heart “full of darkness.” This isn’t just another stormy heart—it’s a full-fledged confession of a love refused and the ache of recognition. I discovered this song (a friend gave me their “Think of You”) when I was writing about microscopes and telescopes, optical instruments that have the potential to let you see far beyond your natural ability. For some, this was exciting and promising. For others, the experience was overwhelming and terrifying. The point for me is that there are many ways of seeing—with one’s eyes and with the mind’s eye.

“Threnody,” Goldmund (aka, Keith Kenniff)

A threnody is a lament, a song or an ode to honor someone who has died. For a year, I wasn’t writing this book. I had lost too much all at once—my marriage, my health, my brother. Goldmund’s quiet composition captures how mourning can also be exquisitely beautiful.

“Numb,” Jamelia’s acoustic cover @ BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge

If I can’t write, it’s because I can’t think. And if I can’t think, it’s because I’ve lost myself, whatever that self is at the moment. I cherish my curiosity because it leads me to places other people don’t go, but it often comes first as a feeling. It can also be extraordinarily fragile. Virginia Woolf has an image that the beginning of an idea is like a little fish that slips under a rock, never to be seen again. The song “Numb” captures this sensibility perfectly for me: it’s a story of recognition and, in Jamelia’s stripped down acoustic version (which I prefer to Linkin Park’s, though their Encore version with Jay-Z is pretty awesome), a love letter to feeling as thinking.

“Joy,” Tracey Thorn

Why include a Christmas song by vocalist Tracey Thorn? Because I just now looked at my iTunes to see what songs I had played the most and she tops the list. 472 plays. My friend, Toni, sent me this CD during my really tough year and I found incredible comfort in the call for joy. Honest and pure. It’s not playing, but I can hear her voice now, even as I type.

“She Blinded Me With Science,” Thomas Dolby

This 1982 classic begins with an allusion to literature: “It’s poetry in motion.” This phrase, and its many repetitions, relies upon literariness to convey the wonder and allure of science. The song goes on to vocalize a “mad scientist,” a character type as old as science itself, mad for a woman. Dolby’s linkage between sexual desire for a woman and intellectual desire for science dates back at least to Francis Bacon in the early seventeenth century who thought of science as a sexual quest.

“China in Your Hand” (full-length album version), T’Pau

Everyone knows Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s classic gothic tale about the hubris of a mad scientist who both creates life (the creature) and refuses it (a mate for the outcast creature). T’Pau returns to this urtext to focus on the ethics of scientific discovery, warning us not “to push too far.”

“Cómo Te Atreves,” Morat

Morat is a Colombian folk-pop band. I listened to this song countless times this past January while staying at my aunt’s Quinta in Argentina. The infectious melody belies the lyric’s rather dark bitterness, but that never stopped my little cousins from singing the chorus at full volume. In between splashes in the pool, siestas, mate, and choripan, I began working on my index for The Experimental Imagination. I finished the index back in the States, back in winter, tucked up in front of the fire, with the dancing rhythms of Morat in my mind.


Tita Chico and The Experimental Imagination links:

the author's website
excerpts from the book

Jenny Davidson interview with the author
Public Seminar essay by the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


This Week's Interesting Music Releases - September 14, 2018

Low

This week's two standout releases are Emma Ruth Rundle's On Dark Horses and Low's Double Negative.

Vinyl reissues include albums by Flaming Lips, Mogwai, Robert Pollard, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Sparklehorse, and Tom Waits.


This week's interesting music releases:


Alejandro Escovedo: The Crossing
Ann Wilson: Immortal
Aphex Twin: Collapse
Asleep at the Wheel: New Routes
Bettye LaVette: The 1972 Muscle Shoals Sessions [vinyl]
Blitzen Trapper: Furr - 10th Anniversary Edition (remastered and expanded) [vinyl]
Carrie Underwood: Cry Pretty
Cowboy Junkies: The Caution Horses (reissue) [vinyl]
The Chills: Snow Bound
Dilly Dally: Heaven
The Dirty Nil: Master Volume
The Doors: Waiting for the Sun (remastered and expanded) (2-CD and 1-LP box set)
Emma Ruth Rundle: On Dark Horses
First Aid Kit: Tender Offerings [vinyl]
Flaming Lips: Death Trippin' At Sunrise: Rarities, B-Sides & Discs 1986-1990 [vinyl]
Flaming Lips: In A Priest Driven Ambulance (reissue) [vinyl]
Gary Louris: Vagabonds (reissue & expanded) [vinyl]
Good Charlotte: Generation Rx
Guerilla Toss: Twisted Crystal
Hawkwind: Road To Utopia
The Lemon Twigs: Go To School
Loudon Wainwright III: Years in the Making
Low: Double Negative
Lyrics Born: Quite A Life
Madonna: The Immaculate Collection (reissue) [vinyl]
Marc Ribot: Songs Of Resistance 1942 - 2018
Mogwai: Happy Songs for Happy People (reissue) [vinyl]
Mogwai: The Hawk Is Howling (reissue) [vinyl]
Mogwai: Mr Beast (reissue) [vinyl]
Mogwai: Rock Action (reissue) [vinyl]
Monster Truck: True Rockers
Monster Truck: Zidane
Orbital: Monsters Exist
Pale Waves: My Mind Makes Noises
Paul Weller: True Meanings
Richard Thompson: 13 Rivers
Robert Pollard: Waved Out (reissue) [vinyl]
Sandro Perri: In Another Life
Siouxsie & The Banshees: A Kiss in the Dreamhouse (reissue) [vinyl]
Siouxsie & The Banshees: The Scream (reissue) [vinyl]
Siouxsie & The Banshees: Superstition (reissue) [vinyl]
Slothtrust: The Pact
Snakes In Paradise: Step Into The Light
Sparklehorse: Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot (reissue) [vinyl]
Steven Page: Discipline: Heal Thyself, Pt. II
Thrice: Palms
Throbbing Gristle: Journey Through a Body (reissue)
Tony Bennett & Diana Krall: Love Is Here To Stay
Tom Waits: Heartattack And Vine (remastered) [vinyl]
Uriah Heep: Living The Dream
Various Artists: Basement Beehive: The Girl Group Underground
Various Artists: Krautrock [vinyl]
Wayne Shorter: Emanon (3-CD box set)
We Were Promised Jetpacks: The More I Sleep The Less I Dream
Willie Nelson: My Way
Yo-Yo Ma: Six Evolutions - Bach: Cello Suites [vinyl]


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

weekly music release lists

Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily book and music news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)


Shorties (Jim Woodring on His New Graphic Novel, Covers of Cure Songs, and more)

Poochytown

Jim Woodring discussed his new graphic novel Poochytown with Paste.


Stereogum shared covers of songs by the Cure.


September's best eBook deals.


Stream a new song by Toy.


The OTHERPPL podcast interviewed poet Joseph Grantham.


Stream a new song by HEALTH and Soccer Mommy.


Zoje Stage discussed her literary thriller Baby Teeth with The Millions.


All Songs Considered recommended the week's best new albums.


John Boyne discussed his favorite books at the Daily Express.


Literary Hub recommended fall's best political and social science nonfiction.


TIME previewed September's best new books.


Stream a new version of Yoko Ono's "Children Power."


Stream a new Farao song.


Bookworm interviewed author Joshua Cohen.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists


September 13, 2018

Claudia Dey's Playlist for Her Novel "Heartbreaker"

Heartbreaker

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Wildly imaginative and poetic, Claudia Dey's Heartbreaker is one of the year's most consistently surprising books.

The Paris Review wrote of the book:

"A fierce exploration of memory and zeitgeist . . . Heartbreaker is a darkly comedic weirdo of a book that pulls the string of nostalgia from one side while unraveling it from the other."


In her own words, here is Claudia Dey's Book Notes music playlist for her novel Heartbreaker:



My novel, Heartbreaker, starts with Billie Jean Fontaine bolting from her bungalow, in her tracksuit and bare feet, and vanishing into the cold October night. Her story is told in three parts. First, Billie’s fifteen-year-old daughter––the bombastic and industrious Pony Darlene; second, Billie’s killer dog, Gena Rowlands; and last, a watchful and mysterious teenage boy called Supernatural.

Here is my playlist. More of a mixed tape. The book takes place in 1985.

1. Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again”
When we first meet Pony, she is trying to arrange her lanky, faint body into the splits of the woman in this video. It doesn’t happen, but that’s beside the point. Pony lives in “the territory”, the remains of a cult in the far north. Population: 391. She can see her future: pregnant, married, pastel dress. A bleak life. The wrong life. A teenage girl has to dream. Sometimes those dreams are just music videos. Sometimes, they get a lot darker. Pony’s get a lot darker.

2. Air Supply, “All Out of Love”
This is the anthem the men of the territory listen to on heavy repeat in their local and only bar, Drink-Mart. It has the tragic loneliness of a mirror ball spinning in a room that will never fill. Also: I know the band meant we are oxygen, but I keep hearing a desperate question mark after the name.

3. Led Zeppelin, “Good Times, Bad Times”
Every spring in the territory is “final resting time.” The ground softens and the dead, having been stored through the long winter in a refrigerated shed, are buried at last. This is the territory’s final resting song, and a recent widow, Shona Lee, her electric blue eye shadow, her bangs flipped back, sings it with the voice of God over every fresh grave.

4. Nazareth, “Love Hurts”
When Pony and her best friend, Lana, go to buy pills from the local dealer, Neon Dean, they find him on his crumbling cement porch working out shirtless with a bag of concrete. He is listening to this song. This song has a title hot enough to rival that of any Frank Stanford poem. The way Neon Dean looks at Pony––a deep and needful scoping––makes Pony understand for the first time that she has sex appeal, and that sex appeal is currency.

5. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”
The central character of the novel––disappeared and yet, the storm by which all of the action takes place––names herself after this song. She heard it on the radio as she was driving north, far away from her former life. When she falls from the open door of her slowly moving Mercedes sedan onto the north highway, she is the territory’s first stranger. After observing that all of the women have double-barreled first names, Billie Jean, with a fighter’s unblinking metal, introduces herself by this one.

6. Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”
I can only say that these are the last words spoken by a man to a woman before they locate each other’s bodies, and enter a high-wire act of secret love in a dense forest. I always return to the epigraph for the novel: “In love there is no because.” This was a line written by both Anais Nin and the poet, Alice Notley. They knew that love brings out our beautiful senselessness more than any other force.

7. Prince, “When Doves Cry”
There is a lot of sex in the second part of the book and it’s accompanied by reading aloud. The woman loves the sound of the man’s voice and she wants it curling into steam between their bodies. I love this song and I love its glamorous, devotional and pained title. It holds so much. Sex does too. Sex could easily be called by this song title.

8. John Mellencamp, “Hurts So Good”
Another song title spoken in the throes of love for its stupid perfection.

9. Buggles, “Video Killed the Radio Star”
Because: this song. Because: it’s playing when Supernatural nearly loses his virginity under a large coat in a cold basement crowded with teenagers doing the same thing, a bare light bulb partly unscrewed to strobe above them.

10. Pat Benatar, “Heartbreaker”
Not directly in the novel, but this song is like the novel’s punk rock ghost. Benatar sings to the camera in her gold bodysuit and black pantyhose, under the canopy of her feathered hair. A growl on: “Don’t you mess around with me,” but only after she sings about being made, unmade, and then made again by love.


Claudia Dey and Heartbreaker links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry

Globe and Mail review
Irish Times review
Publishers Weekly review

Quill & Quire profile of the author
Toronto Star profile of the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - September 13, 2018

In the weekly Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week, the Montreal bookstore recommends several new works of fiction, art books, periodicals, and comics.

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly is one of Montreal's premiere independent bookstores.


Woman World

Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal

Behold, the feminist book of the year. Dhaliwal began writing the warmly cathartic Woman World as an Instagram comic in 2017 following the energizing Women’s March. Set in a futuristic world, a strange birth defect renders the planet void of men, destroying patriarchy in its process.


Berlin

Berlin by Jason Lutes

20 years in the making, this epic graphic novel tracks the rise of fascism during the Weimar Republic years in the titular city. Following journalists and artists, communists and fascists, the hopeful and the resigned, this beautifully-told story works as essential reading for those trying to understand the current high-stakes divisions overwhelming globalized nations - especially those impacted by migration.


Call Them by Their True Names

Call Them by Their True Names by Rebecca Solnit

In her new collection of essays, Solnit (the essential guide to our times) writes about the crises and injustices repeating themselves over and over again in North America - police shootings, ecological destruction, climate change, demagoguery, gentrification, to name a few. She argues that we are mis-naming these crises - we use words that disguise the true horror of what they mean for our world.


Crudo

Crudo by Olivia Laing

The author of the wildly popular The Lonely City, has come out with her first work of fiction and we are delighted! It’s an experimental novel following Kathy, a composite of the author and punk writer/provocateur Kathy Acker, as she witnesses the threat of nuclear war creep into reality.


Sprawl

Sprawl by Danielle Dutton

In this reissue by Wave Books, poet and fiction writer Danielle Dutton observes the suburban. She walks along sprawling suburbs and considers the eeriness of its normalcy, the stillness of its imagination, with wry graceful attention.


Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly's blog
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Facebook page
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Tumblr
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly on Twitter


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

other Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly new comics and graphic novel highlights)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
guest book reviews
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)


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