The world does not need another tome telling the story of Sonic Youth. But a book of fiction inspired by the band's songs? Now that sounds interesting. On January 6, Harper's will release Noise: Fiction Inspired by Sonic Youth the made-up musings by Jess Walter, Mary Gaitskill, Emily Maguire, Shelley Jackson, Katherine Dunn, Tom McCarthy (who wrote one of my favorite books, Remainder), and other authors inspired by Sonic Youth's music. More info below. -- Jennifer Maerz
The stories in NOISE contain kaleidoscopic images that are as edgy as the band itself; the Tompkins Square Riots, serial killing Dr. Zhivago fanatics, and Patty Hearst watching the apocalypse on T.V. are some of the images that make their mark in this collection. And that’s just the tip of an off-beat and decidedly surreal iceberg. The band’s guitarist, Lee Ranaldo, has written the introduction to NOISE, giving Sonic Youth’s seal of approval on the collection.
We are please to announce that NOISE will be the first installment of a new series featuring writing inspired by innovative musicians. Sonic Youth embodies the word “innovative”—they pushed the envelope on the possibilities of art-rock. As an indie stalwart with a huge and devoted fan base, they have also crossed-over into the mainstream without selling out. They have sold millions of records and their fans are smart music lovers spanning the older generation that have loved them from the early ‘80s to teenagers that are discovering them for the first time.
As surreal, paranoid, and pointedly offbeat as the band that inspired them, NOISE is a melding of music and literature with each writer’s inspiration taking them in a different direction, making a final product that is a dark, edgy, and impressive collection of literary pieces.