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“Pop Song is an engaging blend of art criticism, memoir, and travelogue with the raw and confessional style of the microblogging generation. Larissa Pham’s prose bounces seamlessly and dexterously from looking outward to inward and back with equal attention, passion, and insight.”Matt Stowe,
Pop Song is a book about love and about falling in love—with a place, or a painting, or a person—and the joy and terror inherent in the experience of that love. Plumbing the well of culture for clues and patterns about love and loss—from Agnes Martin's abstract paintings to James Turrell's transcendent light works, and Anne Carson's Eros the Bittersweet to Frank Ocean's Blonde—Larissa Pham writes of her youthful attempts to find meaning in travel, sex, drugs, and art, before sensing that she might need to turn her gaze upon herself.
Pop Song is also a book about distances, near and far. As she travels from Taos, New Mexico, to Shanghai, China, and beyond, Pham meditates on the miles we are willing to cover to get away from ourselves, or those who hurt us, and the impossible gaps that can exist between two people sharing a bed.
Pop Song is a book about all the routes by which we might escape our own needs before finally finding a way home. There is heartache in this work, but Pham's electric ways of seeing create a perfectly fractured portrait of modern intimacy that is triumphant in both its vulnerability and restlessness.
Cindy Kay is a Chinese-Thai-American narrator and educator who grew up in the California Bay Area and lives in the Rockies. Her work has been described as listening to a "cozy best friend." She narrates fiction and nonfiction, and has studied Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, and Japanese.