Sasha Frere-Jones’s “Earlier”
By LARB Radio HourNovember 27, 2023
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Writer, musician, and critic Sasha Frere-Jones joins Kate Wolf to discuss his first book, Earlier. A non-chronological memoir, Earlier collects fragments of Frere-Jones’s life: intimate recollections, minor triumphs, path-defining moments, failures, loves, losses, and all stations in-between. An artist formation story that is too humble to declare itself as such, the book enacts the simultaneity of memory, smashing the late 1960s, when Frere-Jones is born, against the 1990s, when he arrives back home in New York, falls in love with his ex-wife, and begins to write in earnest and tour; the 1980s when he attends high school at Saint Ann’s, college at Brown, and obsessively collects and listens to music, against the 1970s growing up in Brooklyn, wondering at aspects of his parents faltering finances and private lives. Like all noteworthy memoirs, it addresses both personal and collective history, pointing to a present bursting at the seams with the past.
Also, filmmaker Nicole Newnham, director of The Disappearance of Shere Hite, returns to recommend Every Good Boy Does Fine: A Love Story, in Music Lessons by Jeremy Denk.
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