You do not need to like Sleater-Kinney, Riot Grrrl, punk music, or Portlandia to love this book. It is accessible, entertaining, and very well told. Carrie Brownstein has a fascinating life. Recommended By Britt A., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
From the guitarist of the pioneering band Sleater-Kinney, a candid, funny, and deeply personal look at making a life—and finding yourself—in music.
Before Carrie Brownstein became a music icon, she was a young girl growing up in the Pacific Northwest just as it was becoming the setting for one the most important movements in rock history. Seeking a sense of home and identity, she would discover both while moving from spectator to creator in experiencing the power and mystery of a live performance. With Sleater-Kinney, Brownstein and her bandmates rose to prominence in the burgeoning underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture in the 1990s. They would be cited as "America's best rock band" by legendary music critic Greil Marcus for their defiant, exuberant brand of punk that resisted labels and limitations, and redefined notions of gender in rock.
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is an intimate and revealing narrative of her escape from a turbulent family life into a world where music was the means toward self-invention, community, and rescue. Along the way, Brownstein chronicles the excitement and contradictions within the era's flourishing and fiercely independent music subculture, including experiences that sowed the seeds for the observational satire of the popular television series Portlandia years later.
With deft, lucid prose Brownstein proves herself as formidable on the page as on the stage. Accessibly raw, honest and heartfelt, this book captures the experience of being a young woman, a born performer and an outsider, and ultimately finding one's true calling through hard work, courage and the intoxicating power of rock and roll.
“Life on tour isn’t all rock ’n’ roll fantasy, as Sleater-Kinney icon and Portlandia cocreator Carrie Brownstein attests in her corrosively honest, impossible-to-put-down memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl—both a journey to self-possession and a portrait of an era, as indelible as one of her songs.” Vogue.com
“She can play, but man, can Carrie Brownstein write…Her blazing memoir is lit by the same flair for adventure, fearless inquiry, and honesty that mark her gritty licks and trenchant vocals.” ELLE
“[Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl] is earnest, endearing, at times angry, critical, confessional, raw…[it’s] the compelling chronicle of a born performer, from fandom to stardom…. The richness of the writing ensures that Hunger will satisfy die-hard Sleater-Kinney fans as well as those who’ve never heard a note.” Kirkus Reviews
“Meet your fierce and funny new comrade-in-arms. [Brownstein] takes us on a backstage tour of her life, from quirky kid-dom to angsty teen-dom to the feminist subculture of the riot grrl scene to not quite superstardom…. Chronicling Sleater-Kinney’s tumultuous history and her own volatility—the tours that electrified fans, one brutal, ballsy concert at a time; the anxiety that often plagued her—Brownstein illuminates the euphoric highs and crushing lows of a life spent both on the fringes and in the spotlight.” O, The Oprah Magazine
“Carrie Brownstein writes the way she plays guitar, with raw honesty, passion, and great humor in Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl.” Vanity Fair
“In the vast library of recent rock memoirs…Ms. Brownstein’s may be the one that most nakedly exposes its author’s personality.” The New York Times
About the Author
Carrie Brownstein is a musician, writer and actor who first became widely known as the guitarist and vocalist of the band Sleater-Kinney and later as a creator, writer and co-star of the Emmy-nominated, Peabody Award winning television show Portlandia. Brownstein’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, Slate, and numerous anthologies on music and culture. She lives in Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles.