Throwing Muses founder publishes new book: Rat Girl - A Memoir by Kristin Hersh

Rat Girl - A Memoir by Kristin Hersh

Kristin Hersh

Kristin Hersh is one of the most critically-acclaimed, pioneering female rock musicians of the past two decades.

The New York Times called her "a truly fear-inspiring rock innovator," Rolling Stone dubbed her band, Throwing Muses, "trailblazing" and "one of alternative rock's most influential but underappreciated groups."

Over the course of her career, she has released over 20 albums, including 9 solo records.

Rat Girl - A Memoir by Kristin Hersh

Penguin is thrilled to be publishing Kristin's first literary effort, RAT GIRL: A Memoir (A Penguin Books Original; On-Sale Date: August 31, 2010; ISBN: 978-0-14-311739-1; 224 pages), a look at the tumultuous year that transformed her from a precocious and rebellious teenager into a rock star - and mother.

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Kristin Hersh on

Kristin Hersh on

In 1985, Kristin Hersh was eighteen years old and just beginning to find her place in the world. After enrolling in college at an early age, where she befriended the larger-than-life former box office sensation Betty Hutton, she made her home squatting in various apartments around Providence, Rhode Island, hanging out with artists, musicians, addicts and other local characters. Sometimes she would sleep in her car and spend the early morning hours swimming in strangers' backyard pools, being careful not to wake the owners.

Throwing Muses was just getting off the ground; Kristin and her bandmates spent their nights gleefully driving from venue to venue in their dilapidated car, the Silver Bullet, trying to convince the bouncers at clubs that they weren't just underage kinds trying to get in the bar - they were actually the band.

Then everything changed. Kristin found herself in a very dark place, setting off a series of episodes that culminated in a suicide attempt, after which she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. As she slowly began to resurface, Throwing Muses relocated to Boston, where they were celebrated in the local music press and subsequently courted by record labels, both indie and major.

Then an even bigger surprise came: Kristin discovered that she was pregnant. Now, instead of wondering what cities in Europe she'd be touring, Kristin found herself wondering if she could afford diapers, whether anti-depressants can be mixed with pre-natal vitamins, and how to balance a guitar on her stomach in her third trimester.

Written in lyrical, evocative, and often hilarious prose, RAT GIRL is the story of one year in a young woman's life, a year that marked a turning point for her in countless ways. Essentially a love story, the book is brimming with passion for the conflagration that is Hersh's songwriting process.

Filled with indelible characters, from the artists who share her flophouses to the aging movie star who gave her advice on fame, this memoir offers a unique and arresting account of Kristin Hersh's experience of growing up - much more quickly than she had planned.

"RAT GIRL is the story of a wide-eyed soul coming to maturity in the ridiculous cacophony of modern life...It is an original beauty." - Mary Gaitskill, author of Veronica and Don't Cry

"Ultra-vivid writing and intense honesty is what you'd expect from Kristin Hersh, one of America's finest songwriters. But Rat Girl is also a startlingly funny and touching memoir of her mid-Eighties moment as the bi-polar, pregnant, intermittently homeless frontwoman of a rising indie-rock band. It's a gripping journey into mental chaos and out the other side." - Simon Reynolds, author of Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-84

"Funny, freaky, fidgety, Hersh's memoir is the book a fan didn't dare hope for: a beacon in a dark field, illuminating the mysterious and the mundane. Beautifully, honestly, written and as close as you will ever get to being in a Throwing Muses song." - Wesley Stace, author of Misfortune and By George

Buy Books, CDs, more:

Kristin Hersh on

Kristin Hersh on

A Memoir
Kristin Hersh
A Penguin Paperback Original; On-sale: August 31, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-14-311739-1
Penguin Official Website

Kristin Hersh Official Website
Kristin Hersh Facebook
Kristin Hersh Twitter

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2 Responses to Throwing Muses founder publishes new book: Rat Girl - A Memoir by Kristin Hersh

  1. Jenny
    Nice piece
    Published my interview with Kristin on 'Crooked' Hardcover Music yesterday

    'The French Guy from New Jersey'

  2. bandweblogs says:

    Hi Serge, thanks for sharing.

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