Pop Song: Adventures in Art & Intimacy

Backorder (temporarily out of stock)
1 other format in stock!

Product Details

$26.00  $24.18
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.3 X 1.1 inches | 1.05 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Larissa Pham is an artist and writer in Brooklyn. Born in Portland, Oregon, she studied painting and art history at Yale University. She has written essays and criticism for the Paris Review Daily, The Nation, Art in America, Guernica, and elsewhere. She was an inaugural Yi Dae Up fellowship recipient from the Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat. She is also the author of Fantasian, a novella.


A BuzzFeed Most Anticipated Book of the Year
A Literary Hub Most Anticipated Book of the Year
One of The Millions' Most Anticipated Books of the Year
A Paperback Paris Most Anticipated Book

Larissa Pham combines the thrilling and agonized travails of her young narrator with the lucid and steady eye of a born critic. The combination is a compelling portrait of one artist's development through the mirrors of her (and many of my) favorite artists. Pop Song is a bold and promising debut. --Melissa Febos

Pham's debut book is a brave, shrewd work of artistic and cultural criticism, exploring the ways we filter raw love and heartbreak through our encounters with music, art and other experiences, for better and for worse. --The New York Times Book Review

Throughout Pop Song, Pham blends her most intimate thoughts with stirring cultural criticism, with essays that make mention of Frank Ocean's music, Agnes Martin's paintings and more. Simultaneously, Pham wrestles with her own heartbreak and trauma as she finds solace in the art that surrounds her. --Annabel Gutterman, Time

Pop Song is a book many will cherish for not only its articulation of pain but also its commitment to everything that comes after trauma, which is grinding, painstaking growth. . . . [Pham's] eye is voracious. --Chalay Chalermkraivuth, The Nation

Each of the essays in this debut collection reads like a mini-memoir in ekphrasis, in which the author reflects on her experiences of young love, trauma, and transcendence through discussions of art and music. Larissa Pham writes about Agnes Martin, Nan Goldin, and Frank Ocean with an intimacy that is at once tender and expansive. --Cornelia Channing, New York Magazine

Artist and lit world phenom Larissa Pham's debut essay collection is like a literary mixtape, which makes its title all the more apt. In her pieces about travel, sex, loss, and inner work, Pham builds a magpie-like nest out of cultural references . . . a volume that feels comfortingly worn-in and relatably restless. --Keely Weiss, Harper's Bazaar

A masterclass in emotional vulnerability . . . Pham has an uncanny ability to detect intimacy, especially in art . . . Pop Song pivots between art and personal narrative with such dexterity that they begin to feel inseparable. --Bryn Lovitt, Nylon

A stunning collection of essays that blends memoir with reflections on art and criticism . . . [Pham] is one of those writers whose words light a fire in your soul, making you restless with inspiration and the need to begin your own journey through the life-changing works of art and forgotten corners that have come to populate your life. --Allison McNearney, The Daily Beast

Pop Song is a triumphant collection, one that signals the author's commitment to recounting complicated experiences without fear or apology. --Evette Dionne, Bitch

The essays in this tender book balance artistic, academic engagement with personal narrative . . . This book offers a warm and expansive portrait of a woman's mind that feels at once singular and universal. --Annie Diamond, BuzzFeed

A sensual, intimate book; reading it is an experience akin to one of those unexpected, hours-long conversations that take place in a dark corner at a party, the kind that can only happen with someone you barely knew, but will now know forever. It's a reminder of the pleasures of casual intimacy, and how getting to know other people is often the best way of learning about yourself. --Kristin Iversen, Refinery 29

Pham is an acute chronicler of her own feelings as well as the everyday mundanities that we suffer through as humans. She is also something of a historian: of art, the internet, and the Vietnamese-American experience. If that sounds like too much for one book, don't worry: in Pham's deft hands, it's exactly the right amount. --Rebecca Schuh, BOMB

A tender heartache of a book, this memoir will make you feel seen in all the right ways. --K.W. Colyard, Bustle

Wherever Pham looks, her gaze is ceaselessly empathetic, and it is this generosity that binds the reader to her quest for understanding . . . Even with all the pain of heartbreak, violence and loss, Pham manages to generate sincere hopefulness. --Ginger Greene, Observer

"[Pop Song] tweezes from pop-culture ephemera--transcendent pieces of art from James Turrell's light sculptures to Frank Ocean's album Blond--to draw connections to distance and intimacy in travel, love, and loss . . . A smart book." --Thrillist

We're big fans of essays that combine cultural criticism with memoir, and Larissa Pham's Pop Song especially sings when the writer turns her eye to art and pop culture. . . . Through her sensitive, curious telling, Pham lobbies for the way in which art can help people learn more about themselves. --The A.V. Club

In a manner reminiscent of contemporaries Leslie Jamison and Jia Tolentino, Pham seamlessly blends the personal and the cultural, the confessional and the critical, the cerebral and the sentimental, to create an exciting and imaginative memoir. A vital playlist that hits all the right notes; readers will reach the end ready to hit repeat. --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Pham reinvents the memoir in a stirring debut that explores the power of language, art, and love . . . This is a masterpiece. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)