Grammy-Nominated Allison Russell Set to Write Memoir

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

A few weeks ago Allison Russell learned that her 2021 album, Outside Child, had just earned three Grammy nominations.

But the good news didn’t stop there.

The songwriter and performer announced a new forthcoming memoir with Flatiron Books.

Russell took to Twitter to announce the new book.

“Now it can be told. Ecstatic that editor @CallMeNyrb is the midwife helping me birth this book,” she wrote. “So proud to be joining the @Flatironbooks (@MacmillanUSA) family alongside transcendent writers @TaranaBurke & @iSmashFizzle Love & Gratitude #megthompson@TL_Agency for this miracle”

The new memoir will discuss Russell’s almost unimaginably difficult childhood in which she endured both sexual and psychological cases of abuse.

Russell opened up about her tragic upbringing on Outside Child. But now it would seem she is ready to tell a much broader story.

Russell, who has many famous fans both inside and outside of the music business, got a little love from multi-time Grammy Award-winner Brandi Carlile, who touted Russell’s keen genius and style upon hearing about the news.

“she’s so brilliant,” Carlile wrote on Twitter.

American Songwriter spoke with Russell in December prior to the Christmas holiday and she talked about her traditions and experience with the time of year, both good and bad.

“Christmas for me, growing up, was very fraught,” Russell said. “I grew up in a very poor and abusive home. It was not that joyful, generally. But the bright light of my childhood was my maternal grandmother, Isabel.”

She added, “It’s really healing for me as a survivor of an abusive, broken home and unhappy childhood to experience the magic through my daughter’s eyes. One tradition is watching Meet Me in St. Louis. We watch the movie, sing the song. I also started teaching Ida French during the pandemic.”

Russell said that if her experience—in the book or on the record—can help anyone, then she’s pleased.

“And if my experience can be helpful to anyone trapped in that cycle, for them to know that that’s not what’s going to define you, that it does get better, that there are loving kind people in the world who will see and value you and hear you for who you are as equals,” Russell said. “Don’t believe whatever story your abuser is telling you.”

Check out a recent performance by Russell and her band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert below.

Photo by Marc Baptiste / Grandstand Media

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