Upcoming Release

She Begat This Cover

She Begat This: 20 Years of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

By Joan Morgan

(Simon & Schuster, August 2018)

Celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the acclaimed and influential debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill with this eye-opening and moving exploration of Lauryn Hill and her remarkable artistic legacy.

Released in 1998, Lauryn Hill’s first solo album is often cited by music critics as one of the most important recordings in modern history. Artists from Beyoncé to Nicki Minaj to Janelle Monáe have claimed it as an inspiration, and it was recently included in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, as well as named the second greatest album by a woman in history by NPR (right behind Joni Mitchell’s Blue).

Award-winning feminist author and journalist Joan Morgan delivers an expansive, in-depth, and heartfelt analysis of the album and its enduring place in pop culture. She Begat This is both an indelible portrait of a magical moment when a young, fierce, and determined singer-rapper-songwriter made music history and a crucial work of scholarship, perfect for longtime hip-hop fans and a new generation of fans just discovering this album.

****

“Joan Morgan schools like no other. While reading this masterful, rich, and amazingly concise cultural history of the Nina-Simone-Defecating-On-Your-Microphone-Nineties, I learned two lessons. One, you cannot tell the story of Hip Hop or Black womanhood in the 1990s without a deep understanding of the prototype for Black Girl Genius that is Lauryn Hill. And two, you cannot tell the story of Hip Hop or Black womanhood in the 1990s without the fiya-spitting, Jamaican, Bronx-girl pen of Joan Morgan. Lauryn gave us the soundtrack, the artistry, and the permission. Joan and her crew of badass, pioneering Hip Hop journalists, many of whom are featured here, continue to give us the language and the frameworks to understand the singularity of turn-of-the-21st-century Black cultural production. Absent either of these Black girl geniuses, the story is incomplete. Indeed, she begat this.”
Brittany Cooper, author of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

“Pioneer hip-hop feminist Joan Morgan takes on Lauryn Hill, the complicated star whose monumental album changed the world, and we finally get the loving, vibrant, critical attention the artist, her work, and her generation has been due. This book is a listening companion with attitude and a sure-shot conversation starter. You may never hear Ms. Hill the same again.”
Jeff Chang, author of We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation

“The dope shit always needs a remix, if only to be reminded of the brilliance of the original joint. And if you were on the scene back in ‘98, you knew it would be Joan Morgan who would remix The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, because who else would it be but another Caribbean sister stepping in the world fly AF and with the gift of verse? Lauryn might have Begat This, but Joan Morgan is giving it back to us all lovely and new and as vital as it was that summer of ‘98.”
Mark Anthony Neal, Chair of the Department of African & African American Studies at Duke University

“With She Begat This, Joan Morgan brings the full lyrical prowess of her unstoppable flow and ferocious prose to tell the multilayered saga of Lauryn Hill’s seminal masterpiece. Morgan serves up an intimate artistic portrait that is compassionate, unflinching, and imbued with the razor-sharp analysis and from-the-heart truth-telling that made her a legend of hip-hop journalism.”
Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper and Dactyl Hill Squad, winner of the International Latino Book Award

“A new book by Joan Morgan would be cause for celebration whether it was about Lauryn Hill, Bunker Hill, or ant hills. But for hip hop’s founding feminist and most incisive critic to apply the force of her intellect, the power of her memory, and the dexterity of her cultural mixology to a record so fraught with meaning and misunderstanding makes me feel the way I did the first time I heard the needle drop on ‘Lost Ones.’ In fact, I’m dancing with one fist in the air as I write this.”
Adam Mansbach, #1 New York Times bestselling author

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Joan Morgan is an author and cultural critic who coined the phrase “hip-hop feminism”. Morgan has been a widely sought-after lecturer and commentator on hip-hop and feminism. An award-winning journalist, a provocative cultural critic, she began her professional writing career freelancing for The Village Voice and has been published by Vibe, Interview, Ms., More, Spin, and numerous others. Formerly the executive editor of Essence, she’s currently a PhD candidate in American Studies at New York University and is based in New York City.

Upcoming Release

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Women Who Rock: Bessie to Beyonce, Girl Groups to Riot Grrrl

Edited by Evelyn McDonnell

(Black Dog & Leventhal, October 2018)

A stellar and unprecedented celebration of 104 musical artists, WOMEN WHO ROCK is the most complete, up-to-date history of the evolution, influence, and importance of women in music. A gorgeous gift book, it includes a stunning, specially commissioned, full-color illustrated portrait of every musician and group.

From Bessie Smith and The Supremes to Joan Baez, Madonna, Beyonce, Amy Winehouse, Dolly Parton, Sleater-Kinney, Taylor Swift, and scores more, women have played an essential and undeniable role in the evolution of popular music including blues, rock and roll, country, folk, glam rock, punk, and hip hop. Today, in a world traditionally dominated by male artists, women have a stronger influence on popular music than ever before. Yet, not since the late nineteen-nineties has there been a major work that acknowledges and pays tribute to the female artists who have contributed to, defined, and continue to make inroads in music.

In WOMEN WHO ROCK, writer and professor of journalism Evelyn McDonnell leads a team of women rock writers and pundits in an all-out celebration of 104 of the greatest female musicians. Organized chronologically, the book profiles each artist and places her in the context of both her genre and the musical world at large. Sidebars throughout recall key moments that shaped both the trajectory of music and how those moments influenced or were influenced by women artists.

With full-color illustrated portraits by women artists, WOMEN WHO ROCK will be THE long-awaited gift book for every music fan, feminist, and female rocker, young and old musicians.

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Evelyn McDonnell is the assistant professor of Journalism and New Media at California’s Loyola Marymount University and was a fellow at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Her cultural criticism has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, including Interview, Ms., Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Spin, The Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Vibe and The Los Angeles Review of Books. McDonnell is a former pop music critic for The Miami Herald and senior editor at The Village Voice and associate editor at the San Francisco Weekly. She is based in San Pedro, California.

Upcoming Release

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash: The Life and Legacy of the Man in Black

by Alan Light

(Smithsonian Books, October 2018)

“There can never be another Johnny Cash. With close-up images and the big-picture story, this book offers new insight into the life of an American hero.”
–Sheryl Crow

An illustrated biography of Johnny Cash that tells his life story through never-before-seen personal photographs and memorabilia from the Cash family

Johnny Cash: The Life and Legacy of the Man in Black is a Cash biography like no other. It reveals Cash’s personal and professional life through largely unpublished material from the Cash family, including his handwritten notes and lyric sheets; personal photographs of Cash with his family, traveling, and performing onstage; and beloved objects from his home and private recording studio. Alan Light, one of America’s leading music journalists, traces Cash’s story from his origins in rural Arkansas to his early recordings with Sun Records; from his battles with drug dependency and divorce to his romance with June Carter; and from his commercial musical successes, including At Folsom Prison and American Recordings, to his death and legacy. The book also includes vignettes on four sustaining themes of Cash’s life: his musical influences, his social justice advocacy, his relationship with June, and his religious beliefs. Rich and revealing, Johnny Cash: The Life and Legacy of the Man in Black is ideal for all those who want to learn more about the personal side of the beloved performer.

*****

“This resonant book offers far more than an overview of Johnny Cash’s life and legacy: it gets to the very essence of who he was and what his life and music mean. Light’s text reads beautifully and stands as an ideal complement to photos that inspire reveries about the works and days of this extraordinary artist.”
Anthony DeCurtis, author of Lou Reed: A Life

“‘Johnny Cash was like Abraham Lincoln to me,’ John Prine once said. We all agreed, though if Prine had said the same of Elvis or Sinatra, we wouldn’t have, because it wouldn’t have made a damn bit of sense. But with Cash it did. He was a man, an idea, a morality, a way of looking at the world. Though wrapped in contradictions, Cash always stood tall, like he’d come out of the soil, one of nature’s inevitabilities. This book gives us an intimacy with the man. And that’s an accomplishment worth celebrating.”
Warren Zanes, author of Petty: The Biography

*****

ALAN LIGHT has been one of America’s leading music journalists for the past twenty years. He was a writer at Rolling Stone, founding music editor and editor-in-chief of Vibe, and editor-in-chief of Spin magazine. He has been a contributor to the New Yorker, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, and Mother Jones. He is the author of The Skills to Pay the Bills, an oral history of the Beastie Boys, and The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah”; and co-writer of the New York Times-bestselling memoir by Gregg Allman, My Cross to Bear.

Upcoming Release

THE ONLY GIRL

The Only Girl: My Life and Times on the Masthead of Rolling Stone

by Robin Green

(Little Brown August 2018)

“A funny, frank, powerful and ultimately moving memoir by an extraordinary writer who didn’t merely roll with the Zeitgeist but remade it in her own image.”
–T. C. Boyle

A raucous and vividly dishy memoir of Robin Green’s sharp ascent from being hired at Rolling Stone to writing cover stories and being the only woman on the masthead in the first years of the magazine’s existence. THE ONLY GIRL is a hilarious yet biting account of working in journalism during the tumultuous late-‘60s and early ‘70s, and about coming of age as a woman in the midst of it. Continue reading

Upcoming Release

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Cooking South of the Clouds: Recipes and Stories from China’s Yunnan Province

by Georgia Freedman

(Kyle Books, September 2018)

China’s Yunnan Province is the most geographically, biologically, and ethnically diverse region in China. Stretching from the Himalayan plateau to the subtropics, the province is home to thousands of species of plants and animals as well as twenty-four of China’s minority groups. As a result, Yunnan is one of the most culinary interesting and delicious places on earth, with a wide variety of cuisines and flavors all packed into one small province.

COOKING SOUTH OF THE CLOUDS: Recipes and Stories from China’s Yunnan Province, by food and travel writer Georgia Freedman, offers a tour of Yunnan’s many foods, from the famed Crossing the Bridge Noodles to dishes like spiced chicken grilled in banana leaves, which will introduce cooks to a side of Chinese cooking still relatively unknown outside of the country itself.
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Upcoming Release

Storm Lake Final Cover

Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper

by Art Cullen

(Viking Books October 2018)

When Art Cullen won the Pulitzer in editorial writing in 2017 for taking on big corporate agri-industry whose chemicals were poisoning the local groundwater, it was a coup on many counts: a strike for the wellbeing of a rural community, a triumph for that endangered species, a family-run weekly newspaper The Storm Lake Times, and a salute to the special talents of a fierce and formidable native son – Cullen.

In this candid and timely book, Cullen describes how rural America has changed dramatically over his career, as seen from the vantage point of a farming and meatpacking town of 15,000 in Northwest Iowa. Politics, agriculture, the environment, and immigration all feed into a book that also chronicles a resilient newspaper, as much a survivor as its town. Continue reading

Upcoming Release

POP UNDERGROUND

The Downtown Pop Underground: New York City and the literary punks, renegade artists, DIY filmmakers, mad playwrights, and rock ‘n’ roll glitter queens who revolutionized culture.

by Kembrew McLeod

(Abrams October 2018)

The 1960s to early ’70s was a pivotal time for American culture, and New York City was ground zero for some seismic shifts in music, theater, art, and filmmaking. In THE DOWNTOWN POP UNDERGROUND, cultural historian Kembrew McLeod takes the reader on a kaleidoscopic tour of the city, telling the story of the interconnections between the alternative music, theater, film, video, writing, fashion and art worlds that flowered in downtown New York. McLeod uses accounts of these artistic cross-pollinations to reveal an alternative history of recent pop culture.

Through interviews with the famous (Debbie Harry, Yoko Ono, Lily Tomlin) to lesser-known-but-essential offbeat artists, rule-breaking poets, gonzo filmmakers, rock and roll drag queens, McLeod shows how these outsiders reshaped the larger culture, and from downtown New York made waves on an international scale. Ambitious in scope and scale, the book is fueled by the actual voices of many of the pivotal characters who broke down the entrenched cultural divisions between high and low, gay and straight, and art and commerce—and whose impact is still largely felt today. The book also features many never-before-seen photos of this glamorous and dynamic time. Continue reading

New Edition

Life After College Updated Cover image
Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want

by Jenny Blake

(Running Press 2011, updated 2018)

“Jenny Blake is a rock star of her generation. The book is chock-full of tips, tricks, tweets, and the genuine empathy of someone who has been in the shoes of her readers. Recent grads will love her writing style and the book’s exercises, which encourage readers to personalize their own journeys.” —Lindsey Pollack, author of Getting from College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World

“This book serves as a roadmap for navigating the various aspects of your life during your twenties. Jenny shares wonderful tips, practical advice, and stories to help inspire individuals to live their truest dreams.” —Christine Hassler, author of 20 Something, 20 Everything and 20 Something Manifesto

Need some straightforward guidance on how to maneuver the real world? Do you wish there was a roadmap that would help you figure out how to get where you want to do? Life After College is that guide. Jenny Blake offers you practical, actionable advice to achieve your goals.

Life After College is an essential manual for recent college graduates, with hundreds of tips and exercises, all newly updated for 2018, to get you inspired, focused, and ready to thrive in every area.

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New Release

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Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece

by Michael Benson

Space Odyssey is the definitive history of the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey, to be released in April 2018 in celebration of film’s 50th anniversary. Created by noted filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, then fresh off the success of his brilliant Cold War satire Dr. Strangelove, and Arthur C. Clarke, one of the century’s most important science fiction writers, 2001 is one of the most original and influential films ever made.

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Featured Author: Ann Powers

powersAnn Powers (@annkpowers) is NPR’s music critic and correspondent and one of the nation’s leading music writers. Throughout her storied career, Ann has held positions at San Francisco Weekly, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, Blender, and the and the Experience Music Project. Since 2011 she’s written for NPR’s music news blog, The Record, covering music through the lenses of culture, gender, sexuality, and race. Most recently, she spearheaded Turning the Tables, a collaboration between NPR and Lincoln Center that highlights the contributions of female artists. Turning the Tables has curated a list of the 150 greatest albums by women that aims to start a new conversation about women’s place in music history, and to make a much-needed intervention in the canon of music writing. 

“[The list] stands for music history, touching upon every significant trend, social issue, set of sonic innovations, and new avenue for self-expression that popular music has intersected in the past fifty years,” Powers writes. The same might be said for Powers’s own career: through her five books and countless articles she has redefined the parameters of music criticism, making sure women are given their proper due, not at the margins, but at the center of the story.

Ann Powers’s influence on contemporary music criticism is indelible. In honor of the August 15th publication of Good Booty, we hope you enjoy this look back at all the books she has published with Sarah Lazin Books.

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