Shortlisted for the 2022 National Book Critics' Circle John Leonard Prize for best first book
'…I don't know what comes after, once I decide to let desire have its way with me. How to un-melt the melted? How to turn the ground powder back into a person? This idea points to a knowledge that I don't have: how to love without losing the self.'
Plumbing the well of culture for clues about love and loss – from Agnes Martin's abstract paintings to Anne Carson's Eros the Bittersweet to Frank Ocean's Blonde – this brilliant work of debut nonfiction explores the state of falling in love, whether with a painting or a person.
Pham creates a perfectly fractured portrait of modern intimacy, triumphant in its vulnerability and restlessness. Pop Song is a book about distances: the miles we travel to get away from ourselves, or those who hurt us, and the impossible gaps that can exist between two people sharing a bed.
Here is a map to all the routes by which we might escape our own needs before finally finding a way home.