Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein releasing memoir

It’s already been a big year for feminist musical icons in publishing, what with Kim Gordon’s recently released memoir Girl in a Band, Chrissie Hynde’s recently announced, as-yet-untitled memoir, and PJ Harvey’s forthcoming book of poetry. Now there’s one more to add to the list, with the news that Sleater-Kinney guitarist and vocalist Carrie Brownstein will also release a memoir – entitled Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl – on 27 October through Penguin.

Brownstein’s book will focus on her time in Sleater-Kinney’s initial, pre-hiatus run (the band put out their seventh album, The Woods, in 2005, then following a year or so of touring behind it released no further music until this year’s No Cities to Love): ‘what it feels like to be a young woman in a rock-and-roll band, from her days at the dawn of the underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture in the 1990s through today.’

That means, of course, that fans who know Brownstein primarily as a comedic performer from her work with Fred Armisen in sketch duo ThunderAnt and, most famously, the TV show Portlandia – or, weirdly, who know her from her post-Sleater-Kinney band, Wild Flag, but have never listened to Sleater-Kinney – may go away disappointed at the lack of behind the scenes detail, though Penguin does promise that the book traces Brownstein’s life as she moves ‘from ardent fan to pioneering female guitarist to comedic performer and luminary in the independent rock world’, so those aspects of her life could perhaps feature, at least in part.

Sleater-Kinney are one of the most important guitar bands of the 1990s and early 2000s, putting out seven albums between 1995 and 2005 full of lyrics that challenged patriarchal power structures and emphasised leftist politics whilst shredding holy hell out of their instruments. If Brownstein’s book can adequately channel that energy, it’ll be essential.

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