Pop Song: Adventures in Art & Intimacy

Pop Song: Adventures in Art & Intimacy


usa, , 2020, arc, ults, nonfiction, essays-memoir, 2021-releases, memoir, net-galley-arcs, read-arcs, essay-and-memoir, we-are-the-ladies, read-2021, Writing, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Music, Biography, Art, Biography Memoir, Audiobook, Culture

Endlessly inventive, intimate, and provocative, this memoir-in-essays is a celebration of the strange and exquisite state of falling in love, whether with a painting or a person, that interweaves incisive commentary on modern life, feminism, art and sex with the author's own experiences of obsession, heartbreak, and past trauma.

Like a song that feels written just for you, Larissa Pham's debut work of nonfiction captures the imagination and refuses to let go.

Pop Song is a book about love and about falling in love—with a place, or a painting, or a person—and the joy and terror inherent in the experience of that love. Plumbing the well of culture for clues and patterns about love and loss—from Agnes Martin's abstract paintings to James Turrell's transcendent light works, and Anne Carson's Eros the Bittersweet to Frank Ocean's Blonde—Pham writes of her youthful attempts to find meaning in travel, sex, drugs, and art, before sensing that she might need to turn her gaze upon herself.

Pop Song is also a book about distances, near and far. As she travels from Taos, New Mexico, to Shanghai, China and beyond, Pham meditates on the miles we are willing to cover to get away from ourselves, or those who hurt us, and the impossible gaps that can exist between two people sharing a bed.

Pop Song is a book about all the routes by which we might escape our own needs before finally finding a way home. There is heartache in these pages, but Pham's electric ways of seeing create a perfectly fractured portrait of modern intimacy that is triumphant in both its vulnerability and restlessness.

Title:Pop Song: Adventures in Art & Intimacy
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    Pop Song: Adventures in Art & Intimacy Reviews

  • Meike

    Pham's memoir in essays tells the story of a love affair, how the author's alter ego arrived at the point of meeting the person, what happened during their relationship and how it ultimately ended. Th...

  • Paris (parisperusing)

    "Here's one promise of a bruise: it heals. A bruise is a way of witnessing: one has endured a blow and survived. It disappears once flesh has been knit back together. In some ways, a bruise is the inv...

  • Geoff

    There is a lot to like in Pop Song. Pham is both intimate and scholarly, disclosing and discursive, open and hurt, angry and hopeful. A collection of personal essays tinged with scholarly discussions ...

  • M. (Inside My Library Mind)

    More reviews up on my blog Inside My Library Mind “It was the first time I learned to perform my sadness. It is a skill I have retained” A while back I read a short story collection, Kink,...

  • Isa

    Reading this while anticipating a breakup-esque emotion in my own life feels like a sign somehow. ...

  • Andrew

    I'm not shy to admit that I don't know a lot about art-- Pham, however, is deeply immersed in all of its forms, and her brilliance shows in every segment of Pop Song. Pham herself is an artist, a worl...

  • Amber

    5 stars because this book is so very good at being itself. Even when Pham beckons us into depths of yearning and achingness that make me feel almost embarassed to be witnessing, I couldn't imagine it ...

  • Yvette

    this book felt like a big hug...

  • Sam Bizar

    I feel like Larissa Pham and I would be friends if we knew each other, but I also feel like she would be too cool to want to be seen with me.This collection of essays is deeply disturbing in how easil...

  • Never Without a Book

    Reading Pham's posts feels like scrolling through a pre-Facebook post. She has the unselfconscious confidence to spill the unguarded details of her life, but she also shows far more sophisticated side...