How to Be Invisible by Kate Bush review – trying to unravel an enigma


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The singer-songwriter’s lyric collection is free of explanation yet still explores her curiosity for life and love

Trust Kate Bush, never one to explain, to complicate the straightforward lyrics collection. She doesn’t annotate this anthology, unlike Neil Tennant’s recent Faber edition. Instead, subtler direction follows an introduction by author David Mitchell, who wrote the spoken-word parts of Bush’s 2014 Before the Dawn performances. Mitchell intermingles charming fannish detail with close textual analysis that illuminates familiar songs: it is God, he points out, not the devil, who allows the man and woman to exchange their sexual experiences on Running Up That Hill, an act of divinity rather than transgression.

But Mitchell is wrong on one key point. “Kate’s the opposite of a confessional singer-songwriter in the mould of Joni Mitchell during her Blue period,” he asserts. “You don’t learn much about Kate from her songs.” Which begs the ...

Kill ’Em All by John Niven review – would-be shocker falls flat


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The sequel to cult music industry satire Kill Your Friends isn’t so much a narrative as a human centipede of topical news and rape jokes

A generous reading would pitch Niven’s pulpy debut novel, 2008’s Kill Your Friends, as a satire of New Labour opportunism. Drawing on his experiences as an A&R man, it is set during the late 90s music industry boom and features the proudly offensive A&R man Steven Stelfox, who is driven to murder in order to crush the competition. It’s a poor man’s American Psycho, revelling in saying the so-called unsayable, with a particular fondness for metaphors based around anal rape.

A decade later, and 20 years on from Britpop, Stelfox returns in Kill ’Em All, now inevitably a Trump admirer and thriving in an era of chaos. Rich after developing an X Factor-style show, he’s living the high life as a ...

Kate Bush to publish book of lyrics, introduced by David Mitchell


This post is by Laura Snapes from Books | The Guardian


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How to Be Invisible, a collection of lyrics from across the singer’s 40-year career, will be published in December by Faber

She is famous for incorporating the work of Emily Brontë, James Joyce and Grimm’s fairytales into her music: now Kate Bush will publish her first book, a collection of lyrics from across her 40-year career.

Faber will release How to Be Invisible: Selected Lyrics on 6 December, with a comprehensive introduction from the novelist David Mitchell. Mitchell, who has described Bush as his “hero”, wrote three spoken-word sections of Bush’s 2014 Before the Dawn performances – which marked her first live shows in 35 years.

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Roxane Gay: ‘No one is guaranteed love or affection’


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The author of Bad Feminist and Hunger has strong words for ‘incels’, harassers in publishing and diet gurus

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1974, Roxane Gay is an author, essayist, New York Times opinion writer and associate professor of English at Indiana’s Purdue University. She has published a novel, An Untamed State, two short story collections, Ayiti and Difficult Women, the New York Times bestseller Bad Feminist (which Time magazine described as “a manual on how to be human”), and a memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (Corsair, £8.99), released in paperback on 7 June. It deals with Gay’s rape at the age of 12 and the lifelong consequences of her decision to make her body as big as possible as a form of self-protection. She is also the author of Marvel’s Black Panther: World of Wakanda and will publish her first YA work, The Year ...

Amy Rose Spiegel’s Action: a candid guide to 21st-century sexual politics


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Part self-help book and part memoir, Action: A Book About Sex sees the former Rookie editor break down sexual barriers and do away with outmoded ‘taboos’ While she was writing her first book, Amy Rose Spiegel regularly abandoned her apartment to install herself in various hotels and motels around New York City, including a dive in Queens overlooking the site of the 1964 World’s Fair, and a Rockaway Beach locale where she was handed a joint on entry. Action: A Book About Sex, feels as though it could have been written in an apartment at 28 Barbary Lane, the bohemian residence at the heart of Armistead Maupin’s cult queer series Tales Of The City. A former editor at Rookie Magazine, 25-year-old Spiegel is a literary stylist whose writing betrays an infectious sense of life’s possibilities: “Gilding the kingdom of your brain will help you establish a ‘sex life’ by ...