Empire State of Memoir


For Lit Hub, Edward White writes about Jay Z and Morrissey’s experimental memoirs, investigating how both artists indulge and subvert what readers want from a musician’s autobiography:

Where Morrissey gives us a conventional autobiography in an unconventional way—no chapters, paragraphs that run for half-a-dozen pages, and seemingly no contribution from an editor—Jay-Z is more formally experimental, mixing memoir with manifesto in chapters that are centered on extensive, line-by-line analysis of some of his most famous, and infamous, lyrics. But the two books are united by the fact that, in their various ways, they both engage with pop’s great cause: the frustration of the misunderstood outsider.

Adam Keller is a Wesleyan graduate currently based in Oakland, California. He's a founding editor of REELYDOPE and used to write for The Argus. More from this author →