Books·Canadian

Begin by Telling

A book by Meg Remy.

Meg Remy

In Begin by Telling, experimental pop sensation Meg Remy (U.S. Girls) spins a web out from her body to myriad corners of American hyper-culture. Through illustrated lyric essays depicting memories from early childhood to present day, Remy paints a stark portrait of a spectacle-driven country.

These memories are visceral. As though channel surfing, we catch glimpses of Desert Storm, the Oklahoma City Bombing, random street violence, the petrochemical industry, small town Deadheads, a toilet with uterus lining in it, the county STD clinic, and missionaries at the front door. Each is shared through language of the body; the sensation of experiencing many of the defining events and moments of a country.

These threads nimbly interweave with probing quotes and statistics, demonstrating the importance of personal storytelling, radical empathy, and the necessity of reflecting on society and one's self within that construct.

Immersive and utterly compelling, Begin by Telling is an artifact of our time; a fascinating perspective on American culture. (From Book*Hug Press)

Meg Remy is a visual artist, performer, musician and writer, best known from the pop project U.S. Girls. She is originally from Illinois, but now lives in Toronto. Begin by Telling is her first book.

Interviews with Meg Remy

Meg Remy from the band U.S. Girls shares what she's learned about grief from the memoir Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala. 2:15
Back in 2007 in Illinois, Meg Remy started U.S. Girls, a one-woman experimental pop project built on electronics and other unusual sounds. When she moved to Toronto, she began collaborating with local musicians and packing subversive messages into catchy pop songs. Now, as the COVID-19 crisis continues to illuminate social inequalities, the songs on U.S. Girls’ latest album, Heavy Light, feel all the more relevant. Remy joined guest host Talia Schlanger to tell us more about her Polaris Prize-nominated album and to discuss the fine art of smuggling anti-capitalist critiques into danceable pop songs. 18:38

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