Jessica Hopper's criticism is a trenchant and necessary counterpoint not just on music, but on our culture at large. --Annie Clark, St. Vincent
An acclaimed, career-spanning collection from a fiercely feminist and revered contemporary rock critic, reissued with new material
Throughout her career, spanning more than two decades, Jessica Hopper, a revered and pioneering music critic, has examined women recording and producing music, in all genres, through an intersectional feminist lens. The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic
features oral histories of bands like Hole and Sleater Kinney, interviews with the women editors of 1970s-era Rolling Stone
, and intimate conversations with iconic musicians such as Björk, Robyn, and Lido Pimienta. Hopper journeys through the truths of Riot Grrrl's empowering insurgence; decamps to Gary, Indiana, on the eve of Michael Jackson's death; explodes the grunge-era mythologies of Nirvana and Courtney Love; and examines the rise of emo. The collection also includes profiles and reviews of some of the most-loved, and most-loathed, women artists making music today: Fiona Apple, Kacey Musgraves, M.I.A., Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey.
In order for the music industry to change, Hopper writes, we need "the continual presence of radicalized women . . . being encouraged and given reasons to stay, rather than diminished by the music which glues our communities together." The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic--
published to acclaim in 2015, and reissued now with new material and an introduction by Samantha Irby--is a rallying cry for women-centered history and storytelling, and a groundbreaking, obsessive, razor-sharp panorama of music writing crafted by one of the most influential critics of her generation.
About the Author
Jessica Hopper is the author of the books The First Collection of Criticism By A Living Female Rock Critic and Night Moves. Her writing has appeared in GQ, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Elle, and Bookforum, among other outlets. A long time contributor to the Chicago Reader, she has been a columnist for the Village Voice and Chicago Tribune, the music consultant for This American Life, the editorial director for MTV News, and a senior editor at Pitchfork and Rookie. Her essays have appeared in several editions of Best Music Writing, and she currently serves as series editor of the American Music Series at the University of Texas Pre