Today there is the release of a new ZE Books memoir by Adele Bertei covering the crucial New/No Wave artist through her tumultuous origins in Cleveland before her move to New York City and a different world entirely. It’s the first of a trilogy of memoirs from the singer will be writing which examines her experiences in the years of 1965-1973 through the eyes of an avatar persona she constructed; Maddie Twist. The distance was probably the only thing that made this book possible as Ms. Bertei sounds like she had very rough waters to chart as a young woman.
Growing up through poverty in the American Rust Belt as its buckle started to crumble and flake would be challenging enough. Adding the reality of being a queer as well as abandoned youth growing up in foster homes and reformatories would have fractalized the challenges that Ms. Bertei had to surmount to ever begin to bring her art to our ears, years later.
I can hope that anyone reading this has some examples of Ms. Bertei’s vocals in your own private Record Cells. But as usual, for every record I have with her on it, there are six more in my want list! I could name a dozen projects of hers off the top of my head, but until now I had no idea that she had recorded a single with Scritti Politti.
As an artist who first manifested in the public eye with The Contortions in the No Wave movement, quite appropriately, Michael Zilkha’s ZE Books imprint has published this volume today and Ms. Bertei is embarking upon a series of readings to take place in the following cities and dates. With publisher Zilkha attending in his Houston locale.
ADELE BERTEI BOOK TOUR 2023
- March 14 | Skylight Books | 7PM | Los Angeles, CA [with Lizzie Borden]
- March 19 | Book Passage | 2PM | San Francisco, CA [with Nazelah Jamison]
- March 20 | Brazos Bookstore | 6:30 PM | Houston, TX [with Michael Zilkha]
- March 23rd | McNally Jackson Seaport | 7 PM | New York City, NY [with Nan Goldin]
- March 27th | Mac’s Backs | 7:30 PM | Cleveland, OH [with Amanda Raboniwitz]
If you are reading this at the point of posting, there’s still time to attend the first event tonight, but please review the event page at ZE Books for RSVP details and links. Some events require registration. In the mean time, her volume may be purchased widely, or directly from the ZE Books website.
loved adele from the first moment i heard her feature turn on thomas dolby’s “hyperactive!”
have you managed to hear “When It’s Over” yet? it’s fantastic!! shame it has never been issued digitally in any guise. it would have fit in perfectly on Cupid & Psyche, and it’s probably better than most of the material on Provision. Green has quite a presence on it, it’s almost a full on duet.
i bought the Anubian Lights CD when it came out without hearing a note of it, purely on the strength of Adele’s involvement. weird and interesting.
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JSD – Then you probably knew about the book in advance of me then. It wasn’t until I got the email from ZE Books recently that I had a clue. It sounds like what Ms. Bertei overcame was incredible.
i actually had no idea about the book! for that matter, i know next to nothing about adele outside of her work. will look forward to checking it out asap.
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