Edited by iconic musician Kim Gordon and esteemed writer Sinéad Gleeson, this powerful collection of award-winning female creators shares their writing about the female artists that matter most to them.
This book is for and about the women who kicked in doors, as pioneers of their craft or making politics central to their sound: those who offer a new way of thinking about the vast spectrum of women in music.
This Woman’s Work: Essays on Music is edited by iconic musician Kim Gordon and esteemed writer Sinéad Gleeson and features an array of talented contributors, including: Anne Enright, Fatima Bhutto, Jenn Pelly, Rachel Kushner, Juliana Huxtable, Leslie Jamison, Liz Pelly, Maggie Nelson, Margo Jefferson, Megan Jasper, Ottessa Moshfegh, Simone White, Yiyun Li, and Zakia Sewell.
In this radical departure from the historic narrative of music and music writing being written by men, for men, This Woman’s Work challenges the male dominance and sexism that have been hard-coded in the canons of music, literature, and film and has forced women to fight pigeon-holing or being side-lined by carving out their own space. Women have to speak up, to shout louder to tell their story—like the auteurs and ground-breakers featured in this collection, including: Anne Enright on Laurie Anderson; Megan Jasper on her ground-breaking work with Sub Pop; Margo Jefferson on Bud Powell and Ella Fitzgerald; and Fatima Bhutto on music and dictatorship.
This Woman’s Work also features writing on the experimentalists, women who blended music and activism, the genre-breakers, the vocal auteurs; stories of lost homelands and friends; of propaganda and dictatorships, the women of folk and country, the racialized tropes of jazz, the music of Trap and Carriacou; of mixtapes and violin lessons.
About the Author
Kim Gordon is a visual artist, writer, actor and a founding member of the post punk experimental rock band Sonic Youth. Founded in the early 1980s, Sonic Youth was one of the most iconic and influential alternative rock groups. In 2012, Gordon formed Body/Head with Bill Nace, releasing their debut album, Coming Apart, in 2013. Body/Head released their second studio album, The Switch, in 2018. She released her first solo album, No Home Record, in 2019. As a visual artist, Gordon has shown work the world over including the solo exhibition “She Bites Her Tender Mind” at IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) in Dublin and “Lo-Fi Glamour” at Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA. She is author of the bestselling memoir, Girl in a Band, and 2020’s No Icon.
Sinéad Gleeson is a former music journalist and now author. Her debut essay collection Constellations: Reflections from Life won Non-Fiction Book of the Year at 2019 Irish Book Awards and the Dalkey Literary Award for Emerging Writer. It was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize, the Michel Déon Prize, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Her short stories have featured in various anthologies, including Being Various: New Irish Short Stories and Repeal the 8th. She has edited several award-winning anthologies including The Long Gaze Back: An Anthology of Irish Women Writers, The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland, and The Art of Glimpse: 100 Irish Short Stories. She is currently working on a novel.
PITCHFORK, "Best Music Books of 2022"
“These essays [in This Woman's Work] are so moving because each of these writers hears themself fully in the music they love. They remind us that we can, too.”—Pitchfork
"[One of the top] compendiums of uncommon collections.”—Poets & Writers