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About Ben Greenman
Ben Greenman is a New York Times-bestselling author who has written both fiction and nonfiction. He is the author of several acclaimed works of fiction, including the novel The Slippage and the short-story collections What He’s Poised to Do and Superbad. He is the co-author of the bestselling Mo' Meta Blues with Questlove, the bestselling I Am Brian Wilson with Brian Wilson, Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You? with George Clinton, and more. His fiction, essays, and journalism have appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times, Washington Post, Paris Review, Zoetrope: All Story, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere, and have been widely anthologized. His most recent book is Dig If You Will The Picture, a meditation on the life and career of Prince.
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Titles By Ben Greenman
The World According to Questlove
Mo' Meta Blues is a punch-drunk memoir in which Everyone's Favorite Questlove tells his own story while tackling some of the lates, the greats, the fakes, the philosophers, the heavyweights, and the true originals of the music world. He digs deep into the album cuts of his life and unearths some pivotal moments in black art, hip hop, and pop culture.
Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson is many things: virtuoso drummer, producer, arranger, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon bandleader, DJ, composer, and tireless Tweeter. He is one of our most ubiquitous cultural tastemakers, and in this, his first book, he reveals his own formative experiences--from growing up in 1970s West Philly as the son of a 1950s doo-wop singer, to finding his own way through the music world and ultimately co-founding and rising up with the Roots, a.k.a., the last hip hop band on Earth. Mo' Meta Blues also has some (many) random (or not) musings about the state of hip hop, the state of music criticism, the state of statements, as well as a plethora of run-ins with celebrities, idols, and fellow artists, from Stevie Wonder to KISS to D'Angelo to Jay-Z to Dave Chappelle to...you ever seen Prince roller-skate?!?
But Mo' Meta Blues isn't just a memoir. It's a dialogue about the nature of memory and the idea of a post-modern black man saddled with some post-modern blues. It's a book that questions what a book like Mo' Meta Blues really is. It's the side wind of a one-of-a-kind mind.
It's a rare gift that gives as well as takes.
It's a record that keeps going around and around.
“Ben Greenman seems incapable of writing anything dry or familiar or expected. He is one of the most versatile, consistently surprising writers at work today.” —Dave Eggers
A diverse and moving collection of witty, fabular, haunting stories about love, infidelity, and the vanishing art of letter writing—from the acclaimed novelist and New Yorker editor Ben Greenman. Fans of the works of Keith Gessen, Ben Kunkel, Nathaniel Rich, and John Wray will find much to love in the beautiful, poignant stories of What He’s Poised to Do.
Named one of the best music books of 2017 by The Wall Street Journal
A unique and kaleidoscopic look into the life, legacy, and electricity of the pop legend Prince and his wideranging impact on our culture
Ben Greenman, New York Times bestselling author, contributing writer to the New Yorker, and owner of thousands of recordings of Prince and Prince-related songs, knows intimately that there has never been a rock star as vibrant, mercurial, willfully contrary, experimental, or prolific as Prince. Uniting a diverse audience while remaining singularly himself, Prince was a tireless artist, a musical virtuoso and chameleon, and a pop-culture prophet who shattered traditional ideas of race and gender, rewrote the rules of identity, and redefined the role of sex in pop music.
A polymath in his own right who collaborated with George Clinton and Questlove on their celebrated memoirs, Greenman has been listening to and writing about Prince since the mid-eighties. Here, with the passion of an obsessive fan and the skills of a critic, journalist, and novelist, he mines his encyclopedic knowledge of Prince’s music to tell both his story and the story of the paradigm-shifting ideas that he communicated to his millions of fans around the world. Greenman's take on Prince is the autobiography of a generation and its ideas. Asking a series of questions—not only “Who was Prince?” but “Who wasn’t he?” and “Who are we?”—Dig if You Will the Picture is a fitting tribute to an extraordinary talent.
New Yorker editor and McSweeney's contributor Ben Greenman reshapes Russian literature's most celebrated stories around America's most popular pop culture icons, probing the deep complexities of Anton Chekov (not to mention those of Cruise or Kardashian). Thought-provoking and funny, these wryly re-imagined tales will be sure-fire favorites for every kind of reader, whether your favorite escapes are celebrity memoirs like L.A. Candy and The Truth about Diamonds, re-conceived classics like Wicked, literary parodies like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or masterpieces of fiction from authors like Tolstoy, Pushkin and Chekhov himself.
What songs have made up your life’s soundtrack? Which have captured your every mood and deepest sentiments? Pop music, like no other form of entertainment or art, is capable of articulating our feelings, desires, joy, and pain. In a few soul-grabbing minutes, artists from every genre—from Little Richard to Lou Reed, Willie Nelson to Wu-Tang Clan, Sly and the Family Stone to the Rolling Stones—can help us understand our place in our own lives.
This collection of short, sharp essays by New York Times bestselling author Ben Greenman (Mo’ Meta Blues), organized around a thematic playlist of songs, serves as a reminder of the lyrical power of songwriting and the sonic ability of pop to capture the human experience. Greenman’s wit, insight, and honesty are as sweet and satisfying as the hits (and the deep cuts) at the center of each essay.