This weekend we learned via the Times Book Review, where Liz Phair reviewed Dean Wareham’s memoir ‘Black Postcards,’ that she is working on a book of her own — “fiction, not memoir.” “It was 4 am and the light was gray, like it always is in paperbacks” is probably not the first line, but wouldn’t that be awesome?
This definitely counts as a career upswing for Phair: Fans of her initial incarnation as the absolute ultimate goddess of post-collegiate stoned romantically confused totally frank lady-wisdom have lately been baffled by the Matrix-produced, CW drama soundtracky direction of her last two albums. The explanation probably lies in Phair’s long-ago admission that “it’s nice to be liked, but it’s better by far to get paid.” So we hope that she gets a fat advance for that novel! Or maybe she’s already gotten one? Publisher’s Marketplace doesn’t know, but maybe one of you does. Tell! Also, can Phair write, you know, not-songs? Let’s take a look at that book review.
Well, it’s pretty great, though Phair ultimately fails to answer the question — “Guilty? Not guilty? What are we as a jury to think?” — that she poses about Galaxie 500 and Luna frontman Wareham’s confessions, which she compares stylistically to “good courtroom testimony” at the review’s outset. She’s funny and evocative, not too conversational, and not afraid to be a little goofy: “Even his writing style has a rhythm to it: passages move rapidly back and forth between incident and impression, creating a kind of (Iâ€™m not kidding) rock â€™nâ€™ roll.” It’s disappointing that she closes the review by quoting what seems like Wareham’s garden-variety midlife therapy session, rather than weighing in on whether he should be held accountable for his unabashed commitment to the rock’n’roll lifestyle. But then, who is Liz Phair to judge? Actually, maybe the exact perfect person. Anyway, that novel is going to be amazing.