Never forget /
to connect the dots /
This book is an attempt to connect a couple.
In Begin by Telling, experimental pop sensation Meg Remy (U.S. Girls) spins a web out from her body to myriad corners of American hyper-culture. Through illustrated lyric essays depicting visceral memories from early childhood to present day, Remy paints a stark portrait of a spectacle-driven country.
As though channel surfing, we catch glimpses of Desert Storm, the Oklahoma City Bombing, random street violence, the petrochemical industry, small town Deadheads, a toilet with uterus lining in it, the county STD clinic, and missionaries at the front door. Each is shared through language of the body; the sensation of experiencing many of the defining events and moments of a country.
Immersive and utterly compelling, the threads in Begin by Telling nimbly interweave with probing quotes and statistics, demonstrating the importance of personal storytelling, radical empathy, and the necessity of reflecting on society and one's self within that construct.
Praise for Begin By Telling:
"Begin By Telling explores the horrors and absurdity of being a "girl" in the mediated warscape of America. With sharp emotional intelligence, Remy reveals a cultural systemic rot that begins with family and fractals out into school, life, the media, the government, and history. Both hallucinogenic and lucid, this work is a radical interrogation of trauma, and a literary salve for the feminist psyche." —Michelle Tea, author of Black Wave and Against Memoir: Complaints, Confessions and Criticisms
"Powerful and distinctive, Begin by Telling ripped through me with the velocity and weight of a freight train; it's roar drowning out the world around me. A beautiful and brutal work, that forces the reader forward, but is crafted to leave space to catch your breath." —Tegan Quin from Tegan and Sara and co-author of High School
"Begin by Telling reminds us that the very act of telling one's story can change one's life."Shazia Hafiz Ramji, Quill and Quire
"A compellingly non-linear account of a life touched by creative success, but also by public and private trauma."The Globe and Mail