The latter months of 2015 have been a bit of a struggle reading-wise, whether it’s been time, or just the lack of motivation to sit down with books and power through them. But, with all deadlines passed and work finished for the year, it’s all starting to pick back up, and Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl was a one-sit read.
See, when it comes to music books, all you need to do is talk about the power of music and you’ve got me in most cases. Within just a few pages, Carrie’s writing had hooked me; she talks about music with the most wonderful detail, the kind of stuff that I, particularly as a teen, lived by. Her talk of fandom, respect for the responsibility, passion for music, detachment from the important bands and tracks when moved to a different setting… it’s not all rosy, but as someone who lived and died by music for the last decade or so, it immediately struck a chord.
And that kept me turning page after page after page. After page. She leaps from point to point, sometimes out of time, with everything coming back to some sense of the importance of art. Her art, that which she grew up listening to, the general idea of fandom. You go on tour with her, make albums, see into her family background, but never does she overstep any boundaries and delve into gossip or general snark that can come with memoirs, often a bitter element surrounding a break-up. Not here.
From the internalised sexism of the press to relationships, the labels forced on her and being grateful for the path Bikini Kill helped pave ahead of them, it’s just such a good book for music fans on so many levels. It’s a memoir in a personal sense, not a memoir that point-scores and tries to rewrite her own history. And it reads that way. Just a nice, normal, passionate and ambitious individual, talking about life. And what a life it is.