Liz Phair: Horror Stories

If you were expecting a linear memoir, or “here’s what happened the night I wrote ‘Flower,’ you’re going to be a bit disappointed. Phair abandons the linear format that plagues many otherwise interesting memoirs and instead presents a series of stories that seek to answer the question “why are you like this?”

She’s always direct, never pulling punches, even when she’s shining a light on her own behavior. She never apologizes, but rather presents her truth and leaves interpretation up to the reader.

Being a huge fan of her discography isn’t required to enjoy this book; in fact, she devotes vanishingly few pages to it. Most of the musical discussion that is present in the book focuses on the aftermath of her 2003 self-titled record, and how exhausting and uncomfortable her brush with pop stardom felt for her. It never comes off as pity-seeking, but rather “these were the consequences of choices I made.”

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Len Damico @len