Alina Simone You Must Go and Win

ISBN 13: 9780865479159

You Must Go and Win

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9780865479159: You Must Go and Win

In the wickedly bittersweet and hilarious You Must Go and Win, the Ukrainian-born musician Alina Simone traces her bizarre journey through the indie rock world, from disastrous Craigslist auditions with sketchy producers to catching fleas in a Williamsburg sublet. But Simone offers more than down-and-out tales of her time as a struggling musician: she has a rapier wit, slashing and burning her way through the absurdities of life, while offering surprising and poignant insights into the burdens of family expectations and the nature of ambition, the temptations of religion and the lure of a mythical Russian home. Wavering between embracing and fleeing her outsized and nebulous dreams of stardom, Simone confronts her Russian past when she falls in love with the music of Yanka Dyagileva, a Soviet singer who tragically died young; hits the road with her childhood friend who is dead set on becoming an "icon"; and battles male strippers in Siberia.

Hailed as "the perfect storm of creative talent" (USA Today, Pop Candy), Simone is poised to win over readers of David Rakoff and Sarah Vowell with her irresistibly funny and charming literary debut.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Alina Simone is a critically acclaimed singer who was born in Kharkov, Ukraine, and now lives in Brooklyn. Her music has been covered by a wide range of media, including BBC's The World, NPR, Spin, Billboard, The New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal. You Must Go and Win is her first book.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

You Must Go and Win
THE KOMSOMOL TRUTHIn late September 2008, I received an email from one ELMONSTRO with the subject line "Hello, Alina! Kharkov on the Line!" ELMONSTRO's real name, it turned out, was Kiril, and he was a journalist for the Kharkov bureau of the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, which he translated for me as "Komsomol True." He had learned that I was born in Kharkov and wanted to interview me about my new album, a collection of songs covering the Soviet punk singer Yanka Dyagileva. "If will please you," Kiril wrote, "reveal to us all news about your creation."It was the first time that anyone from the Ukrainian city where I was born had ever taken an interest in my music, and I was surprised. A little touched, even. My family had left the Soviet Union as political refugees when I was too young to remember, but sometimes I felt it anyway: a Kharkov-shaped hole in my heart. Not to mention that the motherland had come calling when I was feeling particularly homeless, having just moved from North Carolina to a temporary sublet in Brooklyn. My new apartment occupied the top floor of an old brownstone that was badly in need of repair. The closet doors were lying in a heap onthe floor when I arrived, and there were holes the size of hand grenades beneath the rotted windowsills. Spinning the hot water tap in the shower felt like placing an outside bet on a roulette wheel. And the water didn't emerge from the showerhead so much as the wall, like it was some kind of life-giving rock. I would press myself against the runoff in the mornings, before the tiles could suck away what little remained of its warmth. It was the kind of place that made you think too much about your station in life, your dimming prospects. If nothing else, I figured, an interview with "Komsomol True" could serve as a pleasant distraction from speed-dialing the three phone numbers my landlady had given me for her possibly imaginary handyman.We left Kharkov because my father was blacklisted by the KGB, but whenever I asked why, Papa always replied that he'd never know for sure. Did I think he just received a form letter in the mail one day on KGB stationery that began "We regret to inform you ..." and ended with a neat summary of his transgressions? If provoked further, he'd always end up demurring, "Don't make me out to be some kind of dissident freedom fighter," then retreat to a yellow legal pad full of equations. He refused to romanticize our flight from the Soviet Union, to let me imagine it as some kind of action-adventure movie from the eighties. It's not like I ever slayed a Stormtrooper, his warning glance seemed to say, or breakdanced my way to freedom.Papa did admit, however, that it probably had something to do with turning the KGB down when they made him a recruitment offer in college. In any case, it was soon afterward that bad things insisted on happening to my family. My father's military health exemption (he'd had polio as a child) was revoked without warning and instead of serving in the officer corps, like most college graduates, he was sent off to work in the notoriously brutal building brigades of the Soviet army, alongside violent criminals.My mother was forced to quit her job and was mysteriously unable to find work, despite graduating with top honors from the state university. Unemployment was officially illegal, but she stayed home with me in the flat we shared with my father's parents and sister while Papa drifted through a string of menial jobs, rarely lasting long at any of them.You wouldn't know it from looking at my family now, though. Within two years of leaving the Soviet Union, my father had his PhD in physics and a job at a good university. My mother, like most Russian immigrants, found work doing something with computers that I didn't understand. And despite having just completed a thoroughly money-losing tour of the United States, even I had distinguished myself enough as a singer to merit an interview request from a newspaper in Kharkov. Thinking that this called for a self-congratulatory moment, I forwarded the message to my parents. I didn't bother including a note, but the subtext was clear.From my parents--usually quick with the email--there was a suspicious silence. A few hours later, my phone rang."I had no idea that rag still existed," my mother said as soon as I picked up the phone. "You realize that was the official Communist newspaper?"I knew that Komsomol was the abbreviated name for the youth division of the Communist Party and had to admit that it did sound pretty retro. But I was still willing to give Kiril the benefit of the doubt."Well, it's a brand, after all--maybe they just didn't want to give up on a solid brand after investing so much in it during Soviet times?""Are you seriously considering doing this interview?"I hadn't even considered not considering it. And why did Mama always have to act like someone just dropped an ice cube down her pants?"Of course," I answered.And then my mother gave a very Russian kind of snort that could roughly be translated as "This is unbelievable and you are an idiot," and hung up the phone.For the rest of the day, I waited for some word from my father, but finally overcome with impatience, I decided to give him a call, just to make sure he'd gotten the message. When I reached him, he sounded a little surprised."What email?""From Kharkov! The one from Komsomolskaya Pravda.""Mmm. I think I remember something about that.""And?""Well," my father said, with a tiny chuckle, "I guess it is interesting." He seemed to draw some amusement from the situation, albeit from a very great distance, as though something mildly droll had just happened to an acquaintance on a planet in a parallel universe.I wrote back to Kiril that night and explained that I would love to do the interview, but since I couldn't write in Russian, it would be best if he just sent me the questions in Russian and I responded in English. But somehow I did a bad job communicating this request, because from that day forward, Kiril wrote to me in a dialect of English that might best be described as Google Translate on Acid.Hello, Alina. I was pleasantly surprised, when got a rapid answer from you. Very interestingly me with you to communicate. Our musicians stick to very with self-confidence and journalists are not loved. I am a rad, that you are quite another man. If you will not object--I prepared questions by which I and our readers able to know you better. Here list of questions:Though feeling a bit damaged by the Tilt-a-Whirl quality of Kiril's prose, I moved on to the questions themselves and found that they fell into exactly three equally irritating categories.The first category consisted of questions that I couldn't understand at all. At the top of this list was "Do you have any zoons?" I had no idea what a zoon was. Having spent much of the past eight years surrounded by indie-rock guys whose favorite intimidation tactic always began "You've seriously never heard of [insert name of yesterminute's most popular band here]?," the zoon threw me into a small panic. I was convinced it was some really cool Ukrainian thing, the measure by which my own coolness would be judged. It was bad enough worrying about my relative coolness in one country without exposing myself to the judgment of zoon-loving Ukrainian hipsters. I didn't think that I had any, but regardless, decided it was safer to politely ignore this one.The second category consisted of questions that I technically could answer, but very much preferred not to. This list included questions like: Are you very beautiful? Did not you think about the career of movie actor? Why exactly fate, considered that it is not quite womanish employment? Do you like to cook? Who you on the sign of zodiac? Did not you have a desire to engage in physics? Do you watch after that takes place now in Ukraine? Do you want to arrive to Kharkov with concerts?The last category of questions, I had to admit, were best answered by my parents themselves. These included: Where lived? Where walked in child's garden, in school? In what age you were driven away from Kharkov? What now do your parents get busy?"I hope on a collaboration," Kiril wrote before signing off with his regards, "and will be with impatience!"Although my parents clearly were refusing to drink the Kool-Aid, I decided to forward the questions to them anyway, pointingout which ones they might answer if they had the time. Minutes later I received the following response from my mother:Alina, Could you please stop this "collaboration" for God's sake! I cannot read this nonsense anymore! This is pure delirium. m.My father's one-line response was:I like "I am a rad" in Kiril's message.And that was it. Neither of them answered the questions or so much as implied that they would. But the next day, there was a message from my mother with an attachment labeled "Early Childhood" and a note that said:Alina, Here is a template for all inquiries of this kind. You should keep it for the future and use "cut & paste" for the next idiot from "Komsomol True." m.Then, despite Mama's professed ambivalence about my interview, I received another message from her within twenty minutes, when I failed to respond instantaneously to the first one:Is this all? That much for your feedback! In any case please don't forget to bring the kitchen knives for me. Please put them in your luggage right now. m.I opened the attachment and found that my mother had conveniently decided to write her history of my early childhood from my first-person perspective:I left Kharkov at the age of one year. To preschool I never did go. This was unnecessary because my mother ...

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Book Description FABER FABER, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In the wickedly bittersweet and hilarious You Must Go and Win, the Ukrainian-born musician Alina Simone traces her bizarre journey through the indie rock world, from disastrous Craigslist auditions with sketchy producers to catching fleas in a Williamsburg sublet. But Simone offers more than down-and-out tales of her time as a struggling musician: she has a rapier wit, slashing and burning her way through the absurdities of life, while offering surprising and poignant insights into the burdens of family expectations and the nature of ambition, the temptations of religion and the lure of a mythical Russian home. Wavering between embracing and fleeing her outsized and nebulous dreams of stardom, Simone confronts her Russian past when she falls in love with the music of Yanka Dyagileva, a Soviet singer who tragically died young; hits the road with her childhood friend who is dead set on becoming an icon ; and battles male strippers in Siberia. Hailed as the perfect storm of creative talent (USA Today, Pop Candy), Simone is poised to win over readers of David Rakoff and Sarah Vowell with her irresistibly funny and charming literary debut. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780865479159

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Book Description FABER FABER, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In the wickedly bittersweet and hilarious You Must Go and Win, the Ukrainian-born musician Alina Simone traces her bizarre journey through the indie rock world, from disastrous Craigslist auditions with sketchy producers to catching fleas in a Williamsburg sublet. But Simone offers more than down-and-out tales of her time as a struggling musician: she has a rapier wit, slashing and burning her way through the absurdities of life, while offering surprising and poignant insights into the burdens of family expectations and the nature of ambition, the temptations of religion and the lure of a mythical Russian home. Wavering between embracing and fleeing her outsized and nebulous dreams of stardom, Simone confronts her Russian past when she falls in love with the music of Yanka Dyagileva, a Soviet singer who tragically died young; hits the road with her childhood friend who is dead set on becoming an icon ; and battles male strippers in Siberia. Hailed as the perfect storm of creative talent (USA Today, Pop Candy), Simone is poised to win over readers of David Rakoff and Sarah Vowell with her irresistibly funny and charming literary debut. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780865479159

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Book Description FABER FABER, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In the wickedly bittersweet and hilarious You Must Go and Win, the Ukrainian-born musician Alina Simone traces her bizarre journey through the indie rock world, from disastrous Craigslist auditions with sketchy producers to catching fleas in a Williamsburg sublet. But Simone offers more than down-and-out tales of her time as a struggling musician: she has a rapier wit, slashing and burning her way through the absurdities of life, while offering surprising and poignant insights into the burdens of family expectations and the nature of ambition, the temptations of religion and the lure of a mythical Russian home. Wavering between embracing and fleeing her outsized and nebulous dreams of stardom, Simone confronts her Russian past when she falls in love with the music of Yanka Dyagileva, a Soviet singer who tragically died young; hits the road with her childhood friend who is dead set on becoming an icon ; and battles male strippers in Siberia. Hailed as the perfect storm of creative talent (USA Today, Pop Candy), Simone is poised to win over readers of David Rakoff and Sarah Vowell with her irresistibly funny and charming literary debut. Bookseller Inventory # BZE9780865479159

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Book Description Faber & Faber. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 256 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.4in. x 0.8in.In the wickedly bittersweet and hilarious You Must Go and Win, the Ukrainian-born musician Alina Simone traces her bizarre journey through the indie rock world, from disastrous Craigslist auditions with sketchy producers to catching fleas in a Williamsburg sublet. But Simone offers more than down-and-out tales of her time as a struggling musician: she has a rapier wit, slashing and burning her way through the absurdities of life, while offering surprising and poignant insights into the burdens of family expectations and the nature of ambition, the temptations of religion and the lure of a mythical Russian home. Wavering between embracing and fleeing her outsized and nebulous dreams of stardom, Simone confronts her Russian past when she falls in love with the music of Yanka Dyagileva, a Soviet singer who tragically died young; hits the road with her childhood friend who is dead set on becoming an icon; and battles male strippers in Siberia. Hailed as the perfect storm of creative talent (USA Today, Pop Candy), Simone is poised to win over readers of David Rakoff and Sarah Vowell with her irresistibly funny and charming literary debut. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780865479159

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