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July 25, 2018

Andrea Kleine's Playlist for Her Novel "Eden"


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.

Andrea Kleine's Eden is a fierce and fascinating novel.

NYLON wrote of the book:

"A devastating, revelatory examination of trauma, memory, creation, and the ways in which we define ourselves according to our experiences."

In her own words, here is Andrea Kleine's Book Notes music playlist for her novel Eden:

I don’t write short stories. I like the long form. I don’t make playlists. I listen to albums on repeat. I listen to certain albums so much that I memorize them and then I can forget that they are there, playing in my headphones as I write. This is easy to do if you only listen to one album while you write a book, which is what I did. I listened to Kate Bush’s 50 Words for Snow on repeat for years while I wrote my novel, Eden. I would have listened to a new Kate Bush album, but Kate Bush takes her time making an album. It takes time to come up with a masterwork like 50 Words for Snow. I don’t care if you say you don’t like that album, I have listened to it so much, it’s a part of me now, so saying you don’t like it is like saying you don’t like my nose, and maybe you don’t like my nose, but I do.

You might try and convince me that Kate Bush actually has released an album in the interim, Before the Dawn, but I do not consider live albums to be real albums. They are playlists – the playlist of a performance, a documentation of a live event. I love Kate Bush, but this does not count as an album in my book (pun intended).

I also love Kate Bush because she dropped out. She hasn’t toured since 1979. She rarely gives interviews. I will probably never see her live. The recordings I own and the videos I watch on YouTube are the only way I will experience her and there is so much time between her album releases that they come to represent different eras of my life, and when she drops a new album, I weep.

In my novel Eden, one sister (Hope) is trying to locate her older sister (Eden). The two of them survived a childhood abduction as teenagers, and afterwards, Eden leaves for a boarding school, drops out, and cuts herself off from the family. Twenty years later, Hope decides to find Eden, and she invests so much in finding her sister that she overlooks the fact that she, herself, is lost, and that perhaps the way Eden is rebuilding her life is by not being found by Hope.

Maybe my obsession with Kate Bush is really a secret admiration for artists who have walked away, who have taken their time, who do not play by the temporal standards of the music/art/literary world (business). The economy of art forces us into acts of promotional desperation. It takes courage to be a recluse.

I need to write a new novel now, so I need Kate Bush to record a new album. Or I need someone to record a new album. Long live albums and novels and things that take a long time.

Andrea Kleine and Eden links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry
excerpt from the book

Publishers Weekly review

also at Largehearted Boy:

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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

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