White Rabbit has acquired This Woman’s Work: Essays on Music, a collection edited by the founding member of band Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon, and former music journalist Sinéad Gleeson.
Lee Brackstone, publisher, bought world rights with Ben Schafer at Hachette US. Publication is scheduled for 7th April 2022.
This Woman’s Work is a collection of essays by female writers, writing about the female artists, movements and pioneers that matter to them and about their own personal experiences. The synopsis explains: "For too long, the narrative of music and music writing has been written by men, for men. Male dominance and sexism have been hard-coded in the canons – in literature, film and music – and women have had to fight pigeon-holing or being sidelined by carving out their own space. To speak up. To shout louder. The instrument makers, the experimentalists, the avant-garde, the genre-breakers, the pop queens – this book is for and about the women who kicked in doors, as pioneers of their craft or making politics central to their sound: those who offer a new way of thinking about the vast spectrum of women in music."
Contributors include Anne Enright, Fatima Bhutto, Jenn Pelly, Juliana Huxtable, Leslie Jamison, Liz Pelly, Maggie Nelson, Margo Jefferson, Megan Jasper, Ottessa Moshfegh, Simone White, Yiyun Li and Zakia Sewell.
Gordon, who published her memoir Girl in a Band with Faber in 2015, said: "'What’s it like to be a girl in a band?' The often-repeated question throughout my career as a musician made me feel disrupted, a freak or that we are all the same. I once asked my boyfriend what it was like to have a penis. To me they are sort of equivalent questions. If it was born out of pure curiosity it’s understandable. Hopefully this book begins an unravelling of the myth that if you’re a female musician you are a ready-made, easily digestible. I loved working with Sinéad on this book – she is a true inspiration! And so thrilled to be working with Lee Brackstone again."
Gleeson, author of Constellations: Reflections from Life (Picador), added: "Music has been a massive part of my life, from fan to music journalist and writer, I’ve always been aware that male narratives have dominated this industry; valorised and prioritised above many ground-breaking female practitioners. Women (like Kim) had to carve out their own space within it, and we wanted to create a book that asked women to tell us about the female artists, movements and pioneers that matter to them. It’s been honour to find these stories, and to work alongside Kim — who I first saw play in Dublin with Sonic Youth when I was 16. This Woman's Work has a stellar list of contributors writing across subjects both familiar and niche and we hope there's something in here for every music fan."
Brackstone commented: "Kim Gordon and Sinéad Gleeson are two inspirational figures in their respective fields and a classic A Team to deliver a book which explores the female experience in music, as a practitioner, an insider, an observer, a critic, a fan and so much more. This Woman’s Work is a wonderfully eclectic and illuminating collection of perspectives and experiences on music, as seen exclusively by women – who have been historically marginalised in the blokey world of music writing (says the bloke). I am so happy to be reunited with Kim after working together on her memoir and Sinead who has the sharpest eye around for essays that go deep."
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