It was the cover that first piqued my interest in Natalie Singer’s debut memoir, California Calling: A Self-Interrogation. The wide, bright, concentric, circles in rainbow colors, the sans serif typography, and the subtitle promising “a self-interrogation.” But the first line hooked me, and I found myself tucking the book into my purse each morning before leaving for my commute, and carrying it to my bedside each night. I finished the book full of questions of my own, not the least of...Forward
California Calling: A Self Interrogation by Natalie Singer
Singer’s memoir begins with a Joan Didion quote reminding us that “The prize was California” and a memorable first line, “My affair with California begins long before we meet.” This is as much a California story as it is Singer’s, and it’s as much a poem or song — exquisite snippets of language and metaphor — as it is a memoir about Singer’s life as a young woman, an immigrant, a daughter, and a reporter. There’s...Forward
Habit & SpaceWhat’s your favorite thing someone else has said about your writing?
Natlie SingerEverything about writing a book is hard, but getting book blurbs was, for me, particularly fraught. When it came time to ask authors I admired and had learned from, my imposter syndrome kicked in. Like, who am I to ask for their time and attention, let alone their support? But you have to proceed. I was honored to get wonderful, perceptive blurbs, and it turned out that these were also some of the...Forward
“When I was a kid California always seemed to me to be this mythical place. It was the place in songs and it was the place in movies and it seemed really magical but unreachable…Part of the idea behind the book is to investigate what happens when we get something that we’ve been obsessing about or chasing after and how does that measure up to our expectations”—Natalie Singer. To listen to the interview, go to XRAY in the Morning.
Then you admit you have kept secrets?
I could fill a grain silo.
To read the entire Natalie Singer Self-Interview, go to The Nervous Breakdown.
“Because I could not speak, because I could not say, when interrogated in that courtroom, We are a family—because women have bodies that can lead to the unraveling of everything—we lost my little brother.”
In Natalie Singer’s memoir, California Calling: A Self-Interrogation, (Hawthorne Books, 2018), the author lays out all manner of forces to evacuate a silenced voice, a self she lost at sixteen years old. California Calling is the remembering of a mosaic of experiences, growing up...Forward
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…...Forward
Hawthorne Books: California Calling: A Self-Interrogation by Natalie Singer
To see the entire list, go to Entropy.
The problem: I’m writing a book about California. Not just a story set in a place, but a story of the place itself. A rooted story, one that will sweat California out of its paper pores. One that, with its California pheromones, will ensnare you from the shelf, radiating heat and salt air.
The problem is I no longer live there, haven’t for 14 years. I’m trying to conjure a geography that haunts my dreams, one I inhabited when I was still a girl, then a young woman, a college student, a...Forward
When I first skimmed a galley of Natalie Singer’s California Calling, I felt–there’s no other word for it—spooked. I glimpsed words and phrases about California as a mythic place, about aching for it before you really know what it is, about how being there and being gone from there and longing for there are all one state of mind. These are thoughts I’ve had, too, as I negotiate and deepen my own love affair with California. It was like dreaming of a word and then having that word...Forward
Hello? It’s CALIFORNIA CALLING!
This week I had the pleasure to interview my dear friend and new author, Natalie Singer, on the publication of her new memoir, California Calling, a gorgeous coming-of-age story that takes a hard look at what it means to grow up girl and offers up a complex and nuanced investigation into how we become who we are. Lidia Yuknavitch says of the book: “California Calling split my heart open.” And the book–to be released next week–is already getting rave...Forward
California Calling is a lyrical self-interrogation of obsession, emigration, and identity. Natalie Singer’s story opens in a courtroom on a witness stand, where she’s forced to testify in a family breakup that changes the course of her life. At sixteen Natalie emigrates from Montreal and the secrets it holds to the golden promise of the California Bay Area, just as her Jewish ancestors fled Russia and went west for a new life. Through uneasy rituals of high school pep rallies and college...Forward