Kim Gordon has announced she will be co-editing a book of essays written by female writers about female artists. The American bassist, singer and songwriter, will work in collaboration with former music journalist Sinéad Gleeson to put together the collection entitled This Woman’s Work: Essays on Music.
The collection will be available in bookstores on April 2022 via the publishing imprint White Rabbit. It will feature contributions from Maggie Nelson, Ottessa Moshfegh, Margo Jefferson, Jenn Pelly, Juliana Huxtable and more. The collection of essays, according to a synopsis, is “for and about the women who kicked in doors, as pioneers of their craft or making politics central to their sound: those who offer a new way of thinking about the vast spectrum of women in music.” Gordon, who is best known for her work with the American grunge outfit Sonic Youth, knows a thing or two about the challenges women face in the art world.
In an Instagram post published in tandem with the announcement, Gordon wrote: “‘What’s it like to be a girl in a band?’ The often-repeated question throughout my career as a musician made me feel disrupted, a freak or that we are all the same. I once asked my boyfriend what it was like to have a penis? To me they are sort of equivalent questions,” Gordon wrote on Instagram when announcing the project. She added: “If it was born out of pure curiosity it’s understandable. Hopefully this book begins an unravelling of the myth that if you’re a female musician you are a ready-made, easily digestible.”
Irish writer Sineaed Gleeson, who published her work Constellations: Reflections from Life back in 2019, discussed the motivation behind the new book: “Music has been a massive part of my life, from fan to music journalist and writer, I’ve always been aware that male narratives have dominated this industry; valorised and prioritised above many ground-breaking female practitioners. Women (like Kim) had to carve out their own space within it, and we wanted to create a book that asked women to tell us about the female artists, movements and pioneers that matter to them.”
“It’s been honour to find these stories, and to work alongside Kim — who I first saw play in Dublin with Sonic Youth when I was 16. This Woman’s Work has a stellar list of contributors writing across subjects both familiar and niche and we hope there’s something in here for every music fan,” Gleeson added.