Is a word used twice in this review of a book I now desperately want to read, to show how the author, Aleksander Hemon, annexes the page with his liberal use of the oft-debated semicolon. To use or to shun? DSW hated it as her writing (and editing!) shows; she writes short sentences with periods, deliberate sentences. Sentences that are beautiful and precise. I like the semicolon, but then I am in my heart a stream of consciousness writer as you probably know if you have ever read more than one entry of this blog. The semicolon gives breadth to a thought and is more elegant and decisive than parentheses (though I am a slutty parentheses writer, too).
Well apparently Aleksander Hemon wrote his entire book with long semicolonic (ew) phrases, about an immigrant in Chicago at the start of the 20th century who was murdered, and the writer a hundred years later who sets about to trace his steps and uncover the truth. It seems like my kind of writing, my kind of book. My birthday is coming up, as ever, on the same day as Janet Jackson. I, too, will be 20 Y.O. No actually I will be turning $&@O#*^$@ and if you are the type of person who wants to get me a present (though I don’t require it) The Lazarus Project by Aleksander Hemon is it. Also the new Louise Erdrich, The Plague of Doves, which is supposed to be her best (based on: this, of course; aren’t they all? I mean all works of fiction. They were all born at some point as a short story in the New Yorker. Every last one of them). Also, Louise Erdrich, she is one of my favorite novelists.
I would also like to read The Importance of Music to Girls by Lavinia Greenlaw, even though its title is mushy like half-chewed grits. She’s an amazing writer and I saw her read the germ of this book at EMP Pop Con like three or four years ago or whenever I last went. She talked about having her first kiss to punk in the middle of Picadilly Circus, or at least I remember it that way. this person gave it a bad review because it is not a memoir like the woeful hack Nick Hornby, and because it was not what the reviewer wanted it to be. As I remember the story it’s more about finding oneself within the music, and the experiences attached to it, rather than, like, a novelized eve in the ILM wanktank. But I guess my true critique shall come later.
The new issue of the FADER, the magazine where I edit, write, and basically live, is on your newsstand shelf tomorrow. It is our icon issue and has Aaliyah on the cover. I spent two months thinking about it and her, to the point where I started having bad dreams after our creative director gave me an unauthorized Aaliyah commemorative DVD that, tastelessly and rather sadistically, opened with actual footage of the fallen plane. But I am extraordinarily proud of how the book turned out. I hope it does her justice. They showed and discussed it on 106 & Park last week. Rocsi pronounced everything right, so that was cool.
We are posting Will Caps’ special two-part exclusive Aaliyah mix on The Fader Dot Com tomorrow so you definitely will want to go and cop that. He spent a lot of time working on it and it’s chronological and very beautiful.
We miss you Baby Girl.

can you spot mark ronson in this clip?! hint: he is wearing a Mark Ecko puffy jacket, word to the homies at complex. at the time he was dating rashida and her sister kidada was aaliyah’s bff so aaliyah called him up and asked him to play “the DJ” in this video. you could have read that in our Aaliyah issue, except we had to cut it for space, so I’m telling you now.

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  1. Lewis says:

    Happy birfday.
    The best book I have read in a long time is Junot Diaz’s
    “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” It looks at the impact of huge historical events on the lives in a family as they immigrate from DR to US.
    If I knew where to send it (and/or if I even really knew you), I would totally send you a copy, as I enjoyed it that much.

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