This week, we have the pleasure of having Adele Griffin, award-winning author who just released The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone, one of the most unique and most brilliant books I’ve ever read. You truly can’t see how gorgeous this book is until you pick it up in the store. It’s an art piece in itself. When I asked Adele if she would like to share some of the music that inspired her new book, she didn’t hesitate to say “yes.” Listen to the songs and read what Adele has to say about each one. Take it away, Adele!
THE UNFINISHED LIFE OF ADDISON STONE is a novel about a troubled, brilliant young New York artist, now deceased. I told it as an oral history, fully illustrated with full-page art, plus photos, magazine and newspaper clippings, sketches, and candid snaps of Addison’s life. When I am actually writing, I can’t listen to music with lyrics because they get too deep in my head. But a lot of writing is not-writing, and I like listening to music when I think through a book– maybe while I’m walking my dog or on yet another coffee run.
At some point in revisions I heard the song Chandelier by Sia, which is one of those uncanny book-meets-playlist moments. Anyone who reads it will know. People are starting to send it to me so I want to give it a nod.
Addison was a gorgeous It girl, but she was also dark and complicated. I moved between voices I enjoyed, usually female, like Ellie Goulding or Florence and the Machine—whose voice is so Addison-y themed. I especially loved dreamy haunted Heavy in Your Arms.
Sometimes I listened to this strange song by Daniel Johnston, who is a big force of inspiration for me. Johnston is a songwriter and an artist. The recording of The Story of an Artist has been covered by M. Ward to sound really beautiful here:
but I love it most this way:
the weight of his lyrics: we don’t really like what you do / we don’t think anyone ever will/we think you have a problem / and this problem’s made you ill is so different when sung by Johnston himself, with all of his pain in them. Johnston’s fragile mental health is well-documented in the film: THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON, and I can feel the echo of that movie’s impact in Addison’s own character. The book released on August 12 and is in stores everywhere. Soho Press will have lots of “mini-documentary” footage coming soon. Keep up with everything Addison and find more clues at www.iamaddisonstone.com. Hope you enjoy!
Big thank you to Adele Griffin for sharing a few songs of inspiration and a look behind the scenes at her process. I insist everyone go to their local bookshop and pick up a copy of this book and see how gorgeous it is. You won’t want to put it down!