August 30, 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.
Gillian Linden's Remember How I Told You I Loved You? is one of the year's sharpest short fiction collections, brilliantly capturing post-collegiate life in understated prose throughout these linked stories.
Booklist wrote of the collection:
"Debut-author Linden uses language precisely in this slim volume that’s heavy with emotional resonance."
I was in Duane Reade and my friend said, "Whose music is that?" and it was mine, coming from my phone. And once I was running and realized my earbuds weren't connected right and everyone around could hear what I was listening to. It's surprising when anything you think is private turns out to be public and music is something I'm accustomed to keeping to myself. But the songs below are connected to the stories in the collection. I listened to them—not while I was writing because I can't listen to anything and write—but around the time I was writing the stories, and before that, when I was deliberately and inadvertently gathering material.
"Iowa"- Dar Williams
A friend, who was in Iowa at the time, sent this to me when I was in college. Out of the feeling of the song and the lyrics I constructed an idea of what Iowa was like: lots of hills. Then I went to visit my friend, and there weren't any hills around where she lived. One night there was an enormous harvest moon, but no hills.
Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major - Bach, performed by Yo-Yo Ma
I went to a yoga class in which the teacher would play this either at the beginning or the end—it was good for both phases. My friend said her family listens to it when they want to calm down. I listen to it in my apartment and it makes everything feel a bit more spacious.
"This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)" - Talking Heads
Someone told me this was his favorite love song, and I stole it as my favorite love song. Its optimism is maybe in contrast to some of what is expressed in some of the stories in the collection.
"You Can Call Me Al" - Paul Simon/Jens Lekman
I'm including this in honor of my dog. I borrowed—a little—from my early experiences with him for "Pests." My husband and I played this to comfort him the night we brought him home. I don't know if it did comfort him, but I think of it as his song. Also there are lines about dogs in it— "dogs in the moonlight," "bonedigger," etc.
"Ambulance" - TV on the Radio
Another love song—I think? I like how it's delicate and controlled and also, somehow, a little careening.
Gillian Linden and Remember How I Told You I Loved You? links:
also at Largehearted Boy:
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
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weekly music & DVD release lists