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Rat Girl: A Memoir

by

Rat Girl: A Memoir Cover

 

Awards

Staff Pick

If you're a fan of Throwing Muses or Kristin Hersh, you must absolutely read this book. If you don't know her music, introduce yourself here to Hersh's writing. Her voice is unlike any other: hopeful, poetic, and brimming with razor-sharp intelligence. Rat Girl is by far the best, and most unusual, memoir this year.
Recommended by Jill Owens, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1985, Kristin Hersh was just beginning to find her place in the world. After beginning her music career at the age of fourteen, the precocious child of unconventional hippies was enrolled in college while her band, Throwing Muses, was getting off the ground, amid buzzing rumors of a major label deal.

Then, everything changed. Her emotional troubles were diagnosed as bipolar disorder, and — just after the band was signed — Hersh was processing news of a very different sort: she was pregnant. Suddenly, she found herself wondering whether antidepressants could be mixed with prenatal vitamins, how to balance a guitar on her swollen stomach, and whether a rock band could tour with an infant.

Written in beautifully evocative prose, and filled with unforgettable characters, Rat Girl is the story of one pivotal year in Hersh's extraordinary life, a year that taught her strength and forced her to grow up much faster than she'd planned.

Review:

"In this rambling and unremarkable journal of the year 1985-1986 in the life of an 18-year-old musician in Providence, R.I., Hersh tells of her coping with the sensory-overload of manic-depression and pregnancy. The daughter of divorced hippie intellectuals, raised in Georgia, Hersh crashed in a messy, rat-infested house of painters, attended classes at a Catholic college where her philosophy professor father (called Dude) taught, and fronted the rock band Throwing Muses. Young Hersh was shy and a little too squeaky clean for some of the grungy venues the band played; her unlikely best friend at school was the older movie star Betty Hutton, "a warm heart in a cold world," who had returned to school for a master's degree, and often drew on her famous life story for cautionary lessons. Hersh began having perception difficulties on stage, first because she refused to wear her glasses; she then started having visions that involved snakes and colorful sounds. These manic episodes were finally diagnosed by mental health professionals as evidence of bipolar disorder. On lithium, Hersh grew shaky and bloated; her band pushed to move to Boston, with hopes of recording. Hersh unexpectedly became pregnant and had to face grownup concerns way before she was ready, which she chronicles in flat, sophomoric prose." (Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.)

Review:

"One of the narrative's many charms is Hersh's apparently effortless, razor-sharp portraiture of the diverse characters in her life....A thoroughly engrossing work by an original voice." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Review:

"Song lyrics and diary entries mix with Hersh's memories, which read more like poetic, sometimes satiric impressions rather than traditional autobiography....Hersh presents a refreshingly raw, insightful, and singular coming-of-age story." Booklist

Synopsis:

The founder of the cult rock bank Throwing Muses shares her outrageous tale of growing up much faster than planned, in this intensely personal and moving account of the pivotal year of 1985.

Synopsis:

The founder of a cult rock band shares her outrageous tale of growing up much faster than planned.

IN 1985, Kristin Hersh was just starting to find her place in the world. After leaving home at the age of fifteen, the precocious child of unconventional hippies had enrolled in college while her band, Throwing Muses, was getting off the ground amid rumors of a major label deal. Then everything changed: she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and found herself in an emotional tailspin; she started medication, but then discovered she was pregnant. An intensely personal and moving account of that pivotal year, Rat Girl is sure to be greeted eagerly by Hersh's many fans.

Synopsis:

The founder of a cult rock band shares her outrageous tale of growing up much faster than planned.

In 1985, Kristin Hersh was just starting to find her place in the world. After leaving home at the age of fifteen, the precocious child of unconventional hippies had enrolled in college while her band, Throwing Muses, was getting off the ground amid rumors of a major label deal. Then everything changed: she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and found herself in an emotional tailspin; she started medication, but then discovered she was pregnant. An intensely personal and moving account of that pivotal year, Rat Girl is sure to be greeted eagerly by Hersh's many fans.

About the Author

Kristin Hersh has released more than twenty albums over the course of her career which have sold more than one million copies worldwide. She records solo, as well as with her bands Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143117391
Author:
Hersh, Kristin
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Composers & Musicians - General
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Composers & Musicians - Rock
Subject:
Biography-Composers and Musicians
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20100831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.38x5.54x.72 in. .62 lbs.
Age Level:
17-17

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Sale Books
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rock » Biographies
Biography » Composers and Musicians
Biography » General
Biography » Women

Rat Girl: A Memoir Sale Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.98 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143117391 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

If you're a fan of Throwing Muses or Kristin Hersh, you must absolutely read this book. If you don't know her music, introduce yourself here to Hersh's writing. Her voice is unlike any other: hopeful, poetic, and brimming with razor-sharp intelligence. Rat Girl is by far the best, and most unusual, memoir this year.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this rambling and unremarkable journal of the year 1985-1986 in the life of an 18-year-old musician in Providence, R.I., Hersh tells of her coping with the sensory-overload of manic-depression and pregnancy. The daughter of divorced hippie intellectuals, raised in Georgia, Hersh crashed in a messy, rat-infested house of painters, attended classes at a Catholic college where her philosophy professor father (called Dude) taught, and fronted the rock band Throwing Muses. Young Hersh was shy and a little too squeaky clean for some of the grungy venues the band played; her unlikely best friend at school was the older movie star Betty Hutton, "a warm heart in a cold world," who had returned to school for a master's degree, and often drew on her famous life story for cautionary lessons. Hersh began having perception difficulties on stage, first because she refused to wear her glasses; she then started having visions that involved snakes and colorful sounds. These manic episodes were finally diagnosed by mental health professionals as evidence of bipolar disorder. On lithium, Hersh grew shaky and bloated; her band pushed to move to Boston, with hopes of recording. Hersh unexpectedly became pregnant and had to face grownup concerns way before she was ready, which she chronicles in flat, sophomoric prose." (Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.)
"Review" by , "One of the narrative's many charms is Hersh's apparently effortless, razor-sharp portraiture of the diverse characters in her life....A thoroughly engrossing work by an original voice."
"Review" by , "Song lyrics and diary entries mix with Hersh's memories, which read more like poetic, sometimes satiric impressions rather than traditional autobiography....Hersh presents a refreshingly raw, insightful, and singular coming-of-age story."
"Synopsis" by , The founder of the cult rock bank Throwing Muses shares her outrageous tale of growing up much faster than planned, in this intensely personal and moving account of the pivotal year of 1985.
"Synopsis" by , The founder of a cult rock band shares her outrageous tale of growing up much faster than planned.

IN 1985, Kristin Hersh was just starting to find her place in the world. After leaving home at the age of fifteen, the precocious child of unconventional hippies had enrolled in college while her band, Throwing Muses, was getting off the ground amid rumors of a major label deal. Then everything changed: she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and found herself in an emotional tailspin; she started medication, but then discovered she was pregnant. An intensely personal and moving account of that pivotal year, Rat Girl is sure to be greeted eagerly by Hersh's many fans.

"Synopsis" by ,

The founder of a cult rock band shares her outrageous tale of growing up much faster than planned.

In 1985, Kristin Hersh was just starting to find her place in the world. After leaving home at the age of fifteen, the precocious child of unconventional hippies had enrolled in college while her band, Throwing Muses, was getting off the ground amid rumors of a major label deal. Then everything changed: she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and found herself in an emotional tailspin; she started medication, but then discovered she was pregnant. An intensely personal and moving account of that pivotal year, Rat Girl is sure to be greeted eagerly by Hersh's many fans.

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