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Pop Song: Adventures in Art and Intimacy

Pop Song: Adventures in Art and Intimacy

by Larissa Pham
Pop Song: Adventures in Art and Intimacy

Pop Song: Adventures in Art and Intimacy

by Larissa Pham


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"A warm and expansive portrait of a woman’s mind that feels at once singular and universal," this collection of essays interweaves commentary on modern life, feminism, art, and sex with the author's own experiences of obsession, heartbreak, and vulnerability (BuzzFeed).

Like a song that feels written just for you, Larissa Pham's debut work of nonfiction captures the imagination and refuses to let go.

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—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 these pages, but Pham's electric ways of seeing create a perfectly fractured portrait of modern intimacy that is triumphant in both its vulnerability and restlessness.

"Each of the essays in this debut collection reads like a mini-memoir . . . in which the author reflects on her experiences of young love, trauma, and transcendence through discussions of art and music . . . with an intimacy that is at once tender and expansive." —New York magazine

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781646220267
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 05/04/2021
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 724,922
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Larissa Pham is an artist and writer in Brooklyn. Born in Portland, Oregon, she studied painting and art history at Yale University. She has written essays and criticism for the Paris Review Daily, The Nation, Art in America, Guernica, and elsewhere. She was an inaugural Yi Dae Up fellowship recipient from the Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat. She is also the author of Fantasian, a novella.

Table of Contents

On Running 3

Blue 15

Body of Work 41

Crush 77

Camera Roll (Notes on Longing) 95

Haunted 123

What we say without saying 157

Dark Vessel 177

Ways of knowing when it's time to go 191

Breakup Interludes 193

On Being Alone 229

Acknowledgments 267

Works Cited 271

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