My old friend and colleague Sean McNulty has just launched a brilliant site named Auraist, dedicated to promoting and showcasing the most stylishly written books around. I’ll be a regular contributor. My first feature spotlights Adele Bertei’s memoir Twist: An American Girl, one of my favourite books of the year. The piece is based on a public interview conducted with Adele and filmmaker Vivienne Dick at the Temple Bar Gallery + Studios during the summer. Here’s a short clip from that talk, filmed by Paul Sills. Link to part 1 below. Part 2 to follow soon. Subscription is free.
Adele Bertei began playing music in Cleveland with Pere Ubu’s legendary Peter Laughner, and as an original member of the Contortions, produced by Brian Eno on No New York. She was the pioneering creator of The Bloods—the first out, queer, all-women-rock band. Her singing and songwriting career includes recording, performing live, and writing for such diverse acts as Thomas Dolby, Tears for Fears, Culture Club, Whitney Houston, Scritti Politti, Sheena Easton, Jellybean Benitez, Lydia Lunch, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, the Pointer Sisters, and John Lurie. Bertei played a lead role in Lizzie Borden’s seminal feminist sci-fi film Born in Flames. She is the author of two previous books: Peter and the Wolves (a memoir) and Why Labelle Matters, a finalist for the 2022 Lambda Literary Awards. Twist: An American Girl is her origin story.