June 10, 2013
In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.
Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.
Anton DiSclafani's pronising debut novel The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is a coming-of-age tale set in the Great Depression.
Library Journal wrote of the book:
"Engrossing, empathetic, and atmospheric, this debut will resonate with readers as the author eloquently portrays the inevitable missteps in coming of age. Highly recommended."
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is set in the late 1920s, early 30s, and I'm not terribly familiar with the music of this time. It's not the music I turn to, at least. But I thought a lot about the music that I listened to as a teenager when I was writing the book, because, though Yonahlossee isn't autobiographical fiction (if only my summer camp experience had been so exciting!) I was drawing upon the thrilling, disorienting emotions of adolescence in order to create the sealed, hermetic worlds of Yonahlossee. How many times, upset over a boy, did I listen to Jagged Little Pill in my car, up as loud as my ears could handle? I don't want to say I know all the words to those songs, but let's just say I'm pretty familiar with them. Happily, I discovered Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris and Johnny Cash along with Alanis Morissette, and though I still love those musicians (Harris and Cash more and more as I age) listening to them carries with it the complicated, bracing feeling of being a teenager in a world that doesn't care. So my playlist for Yonahlossee is inspired by songs I listened to as a teenager, and songs that make me feel like teenage-Anton when I listen to them because I love them so much.
For Thea, who left: "This Time Tomorrow" The Kinks
For Sam, who never did: "Half Acre" Hem & The Autumn Defense
For Sissy, who I hope stays sweet: "Court and Spark" Joni Mitchell
For Mr. Holmes, whose life was briefly thrilling: "Ring of Fire" Johnny Cash
For Leona, who was just a girl like the rest of them: "I Was Young When I Left Home" Antony and Bryce Dessner
For Docey, who never had a chance: "Red Dirt Girl" Emmylou Harris
And for Georgie, who didn't have one, either: "The High Road" Broken Bells
Anton DiSclafani and The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls links:
also at Largehearted Boy:
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