I love Alina Simone’s book about being Alina Simone, YOU MUST GO AND WIN. It’s a funny, sad, true book of stories about being a Russian-American singer-songwriter on the underside of famous.

The publisher says

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. 

It made me laugh and it made me think. I gave it a blurb.

I said, Most collections of personal essays are dull. This one isn’t. Alina Simone uses her life as material to tell stories that are funny, heartwarming, tragic, often all at the same time. Her subjects, whether music, religion, Russia or family are conjured and dissected with warm humour and sharp eyes. Probably it’s a really good thing she never became an international rock star: she wouldn’t have written this if she had.

I loved it so much, I persuaded Alina to make it into an audiobook, with her narrating.

And now I’ve persuaded Audible to let me set Chapter Two of YOU MUST GO AND WIN free into the world. Chapter Two is the one about answering an ad for a girl singer-songwriter on Craigslist.

It’s funny, sharp, well-observed, heartbreaking and true. Listen to it. If you have friends who’d like it, send them to it.

And if you want more (and I suspect you will) go to this Audible link to hear the rest of Alina’s adventures and misadventures. 

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    I love Alina Simone’s book about being Alina Simone, YOU MUST GO AND WIN. It’s a funny, sad, true book of stories about...
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    All of this is true.
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    Alina Simone, reading chapter two of her book, You Must Go And Win
  10. austinkleon reblogged this from youcantcopysloppy and added:
    Alina Simone, reading chapter two of her book, You Must Go And Win neil-gaiman: Alina is great. Get it!
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