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May 15, 2007

Book Notes - Tamara Faith Berger ("A Woman Alone At Night")

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that is in some way relevant to their recently published books.

A Woman Alone At Night is a modern retelling of the story of St. Mary of Egypt, a prostitute who eventually repented. Tamara Faith Berger, a sex columnist for Vice magazine, has created a modern tale of sex and redemption, complete with a flawed svengali, and a complex protagonist.whose life is turned upside down by her sexuality.

Of Berger, Toronto's NOW says:

"A strong female literary voice that approaches sex without blushing and stumbling through overused metaphors is something to celebrate....[D]eveloped and provocative...rips through the comfortable netting of the typical victim narrative."


In her own words, here is Tamara Faith Berger's Book Notes essay for her novel, A Woman Alone At Night:


I don’t listen to a lot of music because I like silence the most when I write. I tell myself it’s because I have enough noise in my head that even bells chiming can be too much.

Some people say that those who don’t know music are soulless. I am a little soulless in this sense. I try to cure that through writing but it doesn’t always work.

When I was writing this book sometimes I’d have The Teaches of Peaches in my earphones. Kathy Acker says she shoved a vibrator down her pants and wrote.

If there was a song that could play throughout the book whenever Mira f*cks it would be "Rub ‘til it Bleeds" by PJ Harvey. This song conflates lust, fury and the sickly kind of romance that afflicts me into one inevitable drive.

I’ll rub it until it
I’ll rub it until it, hey!
I’ll rub it until it
I’ll rub it until it

I’ll rub it, until it, hey!
I’ll rub it until it
I’ll rub it until it
I’ll rub it until it


Tamara Faith Berger and A Woman Alone At Night links:

the book's website at the publisher

an excerpt from the book at Soft Skull Press
an excerpt from the book at Nerve
a short story by the author at Nerve
an essay by the author at Babble


Previous Book Notes submissions (authors create playlists for their book)

Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2007 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2006 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2005 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2004 Edition)

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