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June 20, 2018

Hannah Pittard's Playlist for Her Novel "Visible Empire"

Visible Empire

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 Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Hannah Pittard's novel Visible Empire is an enthralling and well-researched fictional account of the 1962 plane crash that killed over 100 of Atlanta's biggest art patrons and its aftermath.

The New York Times wrote of the book:

"Pittard’s novel combines a sense of personal loss and turmoil with greater societal change as the civil rights movement arrives at its peak."


In her own words, here is Hannah Pittard's Book Notes music playlist for her novel Visible Empire:



I was woefully uncool as a youngster when it came to music. I grew up listening to songs of the '50s and '60s. With my mother, on our drives to and from school in Atlanta, we kept the station tuned only to the Oldies. I’ve tried to be faithful to the year Visible Empire takes place (1962) and also to its temperament, which means certain favorites—Mary Wells’ “Two Lovers”, Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me,” or The Shangri-Las’ “Remember” and “Leader of the Pack”—didn’t make the cut. But here, as best as I can, I’ve constructed a playlist that follows the mood swings and movements of the book:

Crying – Roy Orbison
Your Cheatin’ Heart – Hank Williams
The Other Woman – Nina Simone
I Want to Be Evil – Eartha Kitt
Money Honey – Elvis Presley
That’ll Be the Day – Buddy Holly & The Crickets
Bye Bye Love – Everly Lovers
These Arms of Mine – Otis Redding
The Great Pretender – The Platters
Honest I Do – Jimmy Reed
You Send Me – Sam Cooke
Water Boy – Don Shirley
When I Fall In Love – Nat King Cole
Crazy – Willie Nelson
Stand By Me – Ben E. King
My Way – Frank Sinatra


Hannah Pittard and Visible Empire links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book

Atlanta Journal-Constitution review
New York Times review

Largehearted Boy playlist by the author for Listen To Me
Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for Reunion


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


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