Nine Eight Books, a new imprint of publisher Bonnier Books UK that will focus specifically on music-related content, has announced its first wave of upcoming memoirs.
Among those who will be publishing non-fiction accounts will be influential English musicians Nadine Shah and Lush frontwoman Miki Berenyi.
Shah has described her upcoming book as focusing on grief and fame in “hilarious but heart-wrenching fashion,” with Nine Eight Books publishing director Pete Selby describing Shah’s book as expressing the unique voice of a “forthright” and “painfully honest” artist.
“It’s going to examine fame and grief and human behaviour in a heart-wrenching fashion but it’s also going to be funny and jaw-dropping,” Selby explained to Music Week. “I fear our lawyers are going to have a field day with the manuscript! It’s going to have genuine water cooler, crossover appeal.”
It would seem bizarre to have the words “music memoir” and “water cooler crossover appeal” in the same sentence. Do water coolers even exist anymore? I guess these are book publishers, so clinging to bygone terms and practices is kind of their M.O.
But also credit where credit is due: memoirs are an evergreen source of entertainment. I just finished reading Michelle Zauner’s Crying in H Mart, which fantastically recaps her mothers battle with cancer and her own inspiration to create the project Japanese Breakfast. The book is roughly 60 percent food porn, intricately detailing every last succulent bite of Korean cuisine that Zauner grew up loving. If Shah or Berenyi can obsess over something as beautiful as Zauner obsessed over rice and noodle dishes, I’ll be the first one to pick up their respective works.
“I believe it’s an objective truth that the best books from the alternative music scene over recent years – actually, any scene – have been written by women,” Selby adds about Berenyi’s upcoming book. “It’s like the traditional male rock n’ roll narrative has finally been repointed and it’s one of the best things to happen to music publishing this century.”
Both books are scheduled to be released in 2022.