Why Sinéad O'Connor Matters


Product Details

$24.95  $23.20
University of Texas Press
Publish Date
5.33 X 8.25 X 0.82 inches | 0.73 pounds

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About the Author

Allyson McCabe is a writer, reporter, and producer whose work is often broadcast on NPR, and her byline appears in the New York Times, BBC Culture, Wired, and other publications.


Why Sinéad O'Connor Matters reassesses the oft-misunderstood songwriter and activist through a lens that is both historical and personal...Written in clear and provocative language...McCabe's impassioned defense of O'Connor in the wake of her many controversies is both heartfelt and persuasive...our protagonist emerges from Why Sinéad O'Connor Matters as a conquering hero; having weathered abuse, cruelty, and prejudice, not to mention the usual unreasonable expectations too often placed on female artists, the courageous nonconformist emerges wounded but wiser. Ultimately--and most importantly--she is redeemed.-- "Aquarium Drunkard" (3/6/2023 12:00:00 AM)
I've been waiting for a book like McCabe's because...grappling with what happened to O'Connor--at her peak no less--carries important lessons that resonate today. The woman behind that sublime voice was a fierce, complicated, tormented, defiant badass. Yet somehow, she remains an enigma--despite publishing a memoir--because of how quickly and completely she was discarded from the music world for refusing to compromise her beliefs. The industry and world have ostensibly changed, but it's essential to remember and honor those who went before us.-- "Tertulia" (5/2/2023 12:00:00 AM)

Absolutely brilliant, heartbreaking, insightful, and personal.

--Margo Price "Literary Hub" (1/12/2023 12:00:00 AM)
A revealing reappraisal...McCabe skillfully renders the artist's rise and ahead-of-her-time activism against the sociopolitical landscape of the 1980s and '90s, persuasively rescuing O'Connor's reputation from a mainstream media narrative that 'all too often dismissed [her] as a slow-motion train wreck.' Fans will be riveted.-- "Publishers Weekly" (5/17/2023 12:00:00 AM)
A superb showcase of the artist as a musician and a person, [Why Sinéad O'Connor Matters] seeks to discern her persistent drive to make music despite the obstacles in her path and what we can learn from such an unorthodox creative spirit...The heart of this immaculate work lies in how McCabe deftly navigates the turbulent intersection of criticism and compassion. When McCabe talks transparently about her own childhood traumas and how they often mirrored O'Connor's, her candor is both refreshing and admirable...This book sets a new standard in music criticism.-- "Treble" (5/22/2023 12:00:00 AM)
[A] very personal and thought-provoking account of the media's role in [O'Connor's] stratospheric rise and ultimate implosion...A touching tribute. O'Connor has been the subject of recent and numerous articles, a documentary, and books (including her own), but McCabe's take is unique in its critical analysis of the media and its attempts to silence and cancel O'Connor.-- "Library Journal" (4/1/2023 12:00:00 AM)
[Why Sinéad O'Connor Matters] is about much more than Sinéad O'Connor. The singer becomes a 'window and a mirror into culture, ' as McCabe puts it, expanding far beyond SNL, MTV, Bob Dylan, Prince, or any of the well-trod touchstones of O'Connor's early career. Instead, the story reaches deeper -- more about the refractions and the shadows that O'Connor casts on ourselves and on the culture. It asks the reader to consider their own relationship to the forces that once leveraged themselves en masse against O'Connor. It's a beautiful and compassionate meditation on silence, trauma, healing, and much more.-- "KCRW" (6/7/2023 12:00:00 AM)
[Sinéad's] urges to "fight the real enemy" have been disregarded, mocked, and vilified for over 30 years - but McCabe's reexamination of O'Connor's treatment is both a tough lesson and a promising step forward.--Laiken Neumann "Austin Chronicle" (6/30/2023 12:00:00 AM)