Let Go and Go On and On: A Novel


Laurie Bird appeared in three films: Two Lane Blacktop, Cockfighter, and Annie Hall. Her fiancé, Art Garfunkel, was away shooting another film, Bad Timing, when she committed suicide at the age of 26. Let Go and Go On and On blurs what little is actually known of her with her roles in these films. Guided by constraints, it is a collage and a loving tribute.
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Let Go and Go On and On: A Novel

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Laurie Bird appeared in three films: Two Lane Blacktop, Cockfighter, and Annie Hall. Her fiancé, Art Garfunkel, was away shooting another film, Bad Timing, when she committed suicide at the age of 26. Let Go and Go On and On blurs what little is actually known of her with her roles in these films. Guided by constraints, it is a collage and a loving tribute.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In his freewheeling sophomore novel, indie rocker Tim Kinsella pieces together a fictional account of real-life aspiring actress Laurie Bird...[using the] handful of minor roles she scored before her untimely death. [...] In pointed, lyrical prose, Kinsella breathes life into a starlet while also posing compelling questions about film and appropriation."
—Jonathan Fullmer, Booklist

"Kinsella's choice of second person point of view makes the novel [...] an elegy and heartfelt remembrance to a victim of misogyny perpetrated by what many Americans consider musicians and actors of artistic distinction and merit. [...] Kinsella, known most notably for his musical group, Cap'n Jazz, could've easily fallen into a cliché fictional depiction of "the tragic starlet." His text is quite the opposite, with incredible, refreshing descriptions of relationships and depression. [...] Kinsella humbles himself before the character and the person, allowing his words and the feeling transmuted through them to let the novel tell its own story, let readers find their own curiosity, and ruminate on who Laurie Bird really was."
—Matt Pincus, Bookslut

Readers are left clutching a ghost to their chests as Kinsella’s words push past flesh to squeeze their broken hearts [...] [N]ot to be missed."
—Mel Bosworth, The Small Press Book Review

"Using a second-person narrative to shed light on “what little is known of her actual biography,” Kinsella has avoided any sophomore slump; in fact, he’s crafted a beautifully wrought narrative of one of the 1970s most pined-about b-actresses, who tragically took her own life at the age of 26 in 1979. Let Go and Go On and On is a page-turner for fans of Bird’s midnight movie oeuvre."
—JC Gabel, Print Purist

"Initially the setting seems so familiar. I know this. I’ve seen these films so many times. I’ve fallen in love with Laurie Bird and wondered where she goes when she’s not in frame. It’s like gazing upon a magnificent and hyper-detailed print, beautiful and meticulous with a pitch-perfect flow. I give Kinsella a five thousand star review for launching me deep into an alternate universe somewhere between fiction of the most intimate and biography of the most compelling."
—Devendra Barnhardt, award-winning musician

"[Let Go and Go On and On] is a heartfelt tribute to an actress who struggled against the crashing waves of reality around her. This is life among the stars and the bright lights and this story will not be forgotten, it will not be bootlegged like old VCR copies of Two-Lane Blacktop. By delving deeper into [Laurie Bird's] life through photographs and films, Kinsella shows us that this is no ordinary train wreck in progress that we feel drawn to watch; this is us riding the train itself just moments before impact. Let Go and Go On and On is a truly outstanding novel and serves as a reminder of "The Girl" that should never be forgotten."
—Nick Sweeney, The Summerset Review

Praise for The Karaoke Singer's Guide to Self-Defense:
“For all this novel's depth of story, and that story's grip and wealthy undercurrents, Tim Kinsella's rushing, trippily meticulous prose is so exciting to follow that the story seems as much the novel's soundtrack and topography as it is the point. A thorough and wildly distinctive read.”
—Dennis Cooper, author of The Marbled Swarm

“On a number of occasions, it’s shit-your-pants brilliant. Kinsella, who has been a principal member of a number of Chicago bands, is already something of royalty in the Chicago indie music scene. Consider [The Karaoke Singer's Guide to] Self-Defense the first entry in a case for similar esteem in indie lit.”
Newcity Lit

Library Journal
Following up his debut novel, The Karaoke Singer's Guide to Self-Defense, famed indie rocker Kinsella reimagines the life of minor actor Laurie Bird, just getting started when she committed suicide in her twenties. VERDICT Told honestly in edgy, energized second person, this narrative feels like a road novel traveling toward Bird's end. Pop cultural readers will especially enjoy, but the language is accessible to all.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781940430010
  • Publisher: Curbside Splendor Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/15/2014
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,306,724
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Kinsella’s first novel The Karaoke Singer’s Guide to Self-Defense was named among the Best Chicago Books of 2011 by CBS Chicago, and listed on Flavorpill’s Most Exciting New Books. Kinsella has an MFA in writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since forming in 1996, Kinsella’s band Joan of Arc and its related projects have released more than thirty records.
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