Our Active Listening series invites authors to create playlists for their books, and offers them a space to draw parallels between the two. Why is this song a perfect match for the book? Why is this song essential to listen to in order to understand it? These are questions that Active Listening is interested in answering.
The series continues with Meghan Bell’s debut book of short stories, Erase and Rewind. Told from the perspective of various female protagonists, the stories in Erase and Rewind probe the complexities of living as a woman in a skewed society; they pick at rape culture, sexism in the workplace, uneven romantic and platonic relationships, and the impact of trauma under late-stage capitalism. Bell’s debut collection is a high-wire balance of levity and gravity, finding the extraordinary in common experiences.
“Utterly bold, darkly funny, candid and bizarrely tender, Meghan Bell’s debut is a testament to being young and female, lost, lonely, and neurotic, while simultaneously trying to navigate the perilous journey of everyday life. The female narrators stumble frequently and learn tough and heartbreaking lessons about the people they love or those who claim to love them,” writes Lindsay Wong. Shazia Hafiz Ramji calls Erase and Rewind “a distinctive, feminist book” in a review for the Humber Literary Review.
We invited Meghan to create an official Erase and Rewind book playlist, which you can find and enjoy below. Each selection is a kind of theme song for one of the collection’s thirteen stories:
Erase and Rewind: “Erase / Rewind” by The Cardigans
Faking It: “Hide in Your Shell” by Supertramp
Most Likely to Break: “The Trick Is to Keep Breathing” by Garbage
From a High Place: “still feel.” by half•alive
I Was Made to Love You: “I’ll Never Love” by Michael Kiwanuka
The Mandrake: “Someone Else’s Bed” by Hole
Nostalgia: “Mad at Disney” by salem ilese
Thunderstruck: “Elastic Heart” by Sia
Pieces: “No Connection” by Chris Ho
Anything to Make You Happy: “She Used to Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles
Captain Canada: “Unsteady” by X Ambassadors
Lighthouse Park: “Hunger” by Florence + the Machine
Anhedonia: “In Repair” by Our Lady Peace
If you prefer to listen while reading the book, which we highly recommend, Erase and Rewind is available to order from our online shop, or from your local independent bookstore. Enjoy the playlist!
Meghan Bell is a writer and visual artist based in Vancouver. Her work has appeared in The Walrus, The Tyee, The New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, Grain, Rattle, CV2, and The Minola Review, among others. She joined the editorial board of Room magazine in 2011, and was the magazine’s publisher from 2015–2019. During this time, she co-founded the Growing Room Literary Festival and acted as the lead editor and project manager of the magazine’s fortieth anthology, Making Room: Forty Years of Room Magazine (Caitlin Press, 2017). Erase and Rewind is her debut story collection. You can find her online at meghanbell.com.