The Importance of Music to Girls

Lavinia Greenlaw

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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The Importance of Music to Girls is the story of the adventures that music leads us into—how it forms and transforms us. As a soundtrack, it’s there in the background while we go about the thrilling and mortifying business of growing up: raging, falling in love, wanting to change the world. Lavinia Greenlaw turns the volume up loud, and in prose of pure fury and beauty makes us remember how the music came first.

For Greenlaw, music—from bubblegum pop to classical piano to the passionate catharsis of punk rock—is at first the key to being a girl and then the means of escape from all that, a way to talk to boys and a way to do without them. School reports and diary entries reveal the girl behind them searching for an identity through the sounds that compelled her generation. Crushing on Donny Osmond and his shiny teeth, disco dancing in four-inch wedge heels and sparkly eye shadow, being mesmerized by Joy Division’s suicidally brilliant Ian Curtis—Greenlaw has written a razor-sharp remembrance of childhood and adolescence, filtered through the art that strikes us at the most visceral level of all.

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Reviews

Praise for The Importance of Music to Girls

"Lavinia Greenlaw's memoir is like none I've ever read—it unravels identity like a novel. It is as spritely and as curious as an essay. Like music, it honors silence as much as it does sound. Greenlaw, a gifted mix-master of forms, has composed a coming-of-age experience that rings magically true for all of us."  —Heidi Julavits, author of The Uses of Enchantment

“Highly original . . . Beautiful . . . Will resonate with everyone who has ever danced around a handbag or played air guitar.”  —Daily Mail

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About the Author

Lavinia Greenlaw

Lavinia Greenlaw has published two novels, including Mary George of Allnorthover, which won France’s Prix du Premier Roman, and three books of poetry. She lectures at Goldsmiths College and lives in London.

Lavinia Greenlaw

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Importance of Music to Girls
Lavinia Greenlaw

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
May 2009
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466805835
ISBN10: 1466805838
224 pages
$9.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
May 2009
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312428372
ISBN10: 0312428375
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 224 pages
$15.00
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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