Kristin Hersh: Rat Girl: A Memoir

Videos by American Songwriter

Rat Girl: A Memoir
By Kristin Hersh
[Rating: 4 stars]

When Kristin Hersh was 18 years old, she attended an oceanside university by day, and played gritty clubs with her band Throwing Muses by night. The daughter of eccentric hippies was also intermittently homeless, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and, around the same time her band was offered a record deal, Hersh discovered she was pregnant.

You could say 1985 was nothing short of nightmarish for the gifted indie rocker, but her vivid descriptions and humorous, stream-of-consciousness delivery make this memoir a hypnotic read. With keen insight into Hersh’s bizarre songwriting process – the songs she heard went from being “floaty angels” to “devils… that grab your face and shout at it” – and a colorful cast of characters, including actress Betty Hutton, “monochromatic Mark,” and all the painters and junkies she meets along the way, Rat Girl feels like a Faulkner novel set in New England. And Hersh’s poetic song lyrics appear in the text at relevant moments to heighten the surreal journey for any longtime fan.


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Making It In Nashville: The Jompson Brothers’ Chris Stapleton