‘NOT ME’, a MEMOIR by MARIANNE DISSARD
Press Release 25/5/2019
Download Press Release
Press Release 6/6/19
NOT ME - Marianne Dissard
Publication Date : 10/15/19
Publisher : Marianne Dissard
Imprint : Creosote
Distribution : Gardners (wholesale) + author's website & all online platforms.
Marianne Dissard - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK Publicity - Francesca Baker +44 (0) 7877461555 email@example.com
EPK : www.mariannedissard.com
Marianne left her home in Tucson, Arizona...
French chanteuse Marianne Dissard recorded and toured with members of alt-Americana bands Giant Sand and Calexico. Her own desert noir chanson plays effortlessly with contradictions: tender, yet abrasive; melodramatic, but vulnerable; comical and heartbreaking.
Equally so her first book, 'Not Me', an impish and poetic exploration of trauma and the life of a touring musician, praised by two of Dissard's favorite authors, Mitch Cullin ('Tideland') and Andrew Smith ('Moondust').
A courageous book of unflinching compassion, 'Not Me' is available from October 15th, 2019 as paperback (first edition quality-printed by CPI Antony Rowe UK), audiobook (read by the author) and eBook, with a cover design by noted British designer Jamie Keenan.
Of universal interest, Dissard's 'often improbably funny memoir' (Andrew Smith), 'not just painfully but viscerally, brutally honest' (producer John Parish), will speak to anyone who has ever struggled to maintain physical and psychological well-being.
For years, Dissard orchestrated her public life as a performer around her private disordered world. In 2013, at the end of her rope, she flees her hometown of Tucson, Arizona to seek solace back in Europe, a continent she’d left at age sixteen. In Paris, Dissard latches on to an intensive yoga teacher training to turn her life around.
‘Of course, I was scared when I realized I would be speaking my truth after decades of keeping it freakishly hidden or, at best, cryptically whispered in my song lyrics—in French, for more opacity', says Dissard.
‘Not Me’ is the account of a year spent away from the stage in an attempt to reboot a life plagued by eating disorders. Invited to teach, Dissard grabs the chance to learn. Focusing on her students, opening up to friendships, she gradually finds her way back to health and connections… and a wooden boat in England.
‘I kept a journal of what I desperately needed to be a momentous year. These entries would form the basis of a book about my life, all these years I wasted in exile from myself. I don't prettify my truth. You have to face the music at some point.'
Topics and Themes
Dissard addresses important topics in 'Not Me'. No one much likes to read about bulimia—Dissard herself recoils at even the sound of the word ('That 'b' followed by a pucker-face 'u', like a mouth opening and spewing ugliness'). We are better acquainted with anorexia, the more 'aesthetic' or normalized eating disorder (ED), but in the UK 40% of the approximately 1.25 million people with an ED suffer from bulimia. And the numbers of those over forty, men and women alike, who suffer from EDs is also rising.
But 'Not Me' is not just a recovery memoir about Dissard's struggle with ED. Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental ill-health each year but the numbers are worse in the arts. A 2014 survey published by Help Musicians, the leading independent UK music charity, found that 60% of musicians had struggled with their mental health, compared to 25% in the UK as a whole.
'I got worse the more I was on stage, exposed but performing a role. And the more I toured, the less I had any sense of "home". Call them addictions, mental ill-health or self-directed delinquencies, these conditions all share a bedrock of isolation, guilt and shame. Frightfully alone in sickness as in recovery, I did it my way—a modern curse’, says Dissard, 'but many are not as lucky'.
'Not Me', despite lifting the veil on some rarely-exposed aspects of eating disorders, is also the story of a dedicated yogini learning to give of herself as a yoga teacher. 'Yoga had long been my raft on tour as in "real" life,' Dissard notes, 'but yoga in itself is not what "saved" me'. At the end of the book, Dissard fatefully ends up in Ramsgate where she finds not just a more stable home—ironically, on a wooden sailboat—but a community and the meaningful connections to vanquish isolation and sustain a permanent recovery.
Dissard's third Tucson album, 'The Cat. Not Me' (2013), was a sombre affair, its nightmarish arrangements supporting a mood of petulant self-destruction. Equally so 'Not Me'—her albums always come with a flipside project: films ('Lonesome Cowgirls' adapted from Warhol); recordings (the 'City Series' albums); a book.
'Of course, they're one and the same. My music and writing, my performances and visual works are guided by the same principles. If you understand one, you understand the other. Also, lyrics or prose, in English or in French, my words must sing.'
Now it is the book that gets flipped... back to the stage. Dissard will perform a theatrical staging of 'Not Me' in a collaboration with Carli Jefferson (Lunatraktors) at the UK book launch event scheduled for October 5th at Tom Thumb Theatre in Margate, Kent.
'Leave to remain in the UK'. Her pre-settled status granted, Dissard is currently at work from her Ramsgate harbour on a second book and her fourth album.
Friday, June 21st / 6-7pm – The Margate Bookshop, Margate UK / International Day of Yoga reading
Saturday, October 5th / 7-10pm – Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate UK / Theatrical staging and book launch
October 8-15th / Germany