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Largehearted Boy Book Notes - Natalie Singer “California Calling”

05 Mar 2018|

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Jesmyn Ward, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Natalie Singer’s memoir California Calling is an innovative and enthralling exploration of identity.

Foreword Reviews wrote of the book:

“In her captivating literary memoir… Singer’s story comes through brief and lovely snapshots of moments, captured in language that is visceral and vivacious… a work that is both raw and incandescent, but whose most powerful reveals will perhaps reemerge in the reader’s consciousness only after the fact. This is a California that, as promised, truly does belong to all.”

Led Zeppelin – “Going to California”

In an early scene of my memoir, California Calling: A Self-Interrogation, I say that this song is the music of my leaving. I hear it in my head on a loop as I fly away from the city of my family and my childhood, Montreal, to the state I’ve been dreaming about since I first learned of its existence: California. When you are sixteen and leaving behind everything you know and love, including your first boyfriend, who plays the drums and reads Isaac Asimov and introduced you to Zeppelin and to the cannon of his other musical idols, there is an aching in your heart. But also an anticipation. And to combat the guilt of this anticipation, you need to wallow in the unfairness of your fate—this assuages the guilt and creates a cosmic balance that will eventually permit you to assimilate into a new place, culture, and version of yourself. Until that happens, play Zeppelin on repeat.

To see and listen to Natalie’s complete play list, go to Largehearted Boy.