The Passionate Eye: The Collected Writing of Suzanne Vega

Suzanne Vega, Author, Suzanne Vega, Introduction by Spike $23 (288p) ISBN 978-0-380-97353-8
Catapulted into the limelight after her song about an abused child, ""Luka,"" hit the airwaves in 1987, Suzanne Vega has become the minimalist poet of popular music. With five albums and a recent greatest hits collection behind her, the artist has put together a medley of writings spanning a 30-year period that provide an engaging counterpoint to her spare lyrics, many of them also reprinted here. Vega has chosen to organize the material thematically rather than chronologically, a tactic highlighting the motifs she has pursued since childhood: solitude, desire, war and ""the stuff that you knew too early that you shouldn't have known."" Like her music, Vega's prose is studded with precise images that prove her a keen observer of the world around her: for instance, in ""Plain,"" she writes, ""I am nothing more/ Than grain in the wood/ And rust on steel./ A town you went through once/ Then forgot./ A girl on a step."" While this cascade of images is Vega's signature style, the collection's longer pieces flesh out the experiences that inspired her lyrics: selections from Vega's journal, an interview conducted by Leonard Cohen and the tender ""Hunger Strike,"" which shows a young woman dealing with lost love by abusing her body. Although this volume will speak strongest to longtime fans of Vega's music, there is a poignant mixture of toughness and fragility in Vega's work that will resonate even with readers who've never heard her sing. Major ad/promo. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-380-78882-8
Show other formats
Discover what to read next