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To Throw Away Unopened by Viv Albertine

Updated: Jul 1, 2019

Faber & Faber 2018


Before my friend Sue joined the London public library to reduce her massive book budget, she let me take a look in her give away book bag. Among them was this book by Viv Albertine. Unknown to me previously, Albertine is famous for what the book jacket calls her "post-punk rock band". I'm not sure what that is, I guess after punk? She was the guitarist. Greil Marcus, also unknown to me, says it's the best book about punk he’s read, although it is not about punk. Rather, it deals with Albertine's unconventional life and family. Due to their strange upbringing, including neglect and instruction to hate men, Albertine and her sister have a conflictual relationship which blows up at the plot climax with literal gnashing of teeth. Her writing is funny, touching and honest. It all hangs out when Viv ignores the instructions and instead of throwing away, opens.


If you come across this book recycled or otherwise, do the same as Viv, before passing it on.


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