Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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“Broken Horses”: Brandi Carlile’s Best Selling Memoir

Brandi Carlile’s recently released memoir, Broken Horses, is about “faith, sexuality, parenthood, and a life shaped by music.” The singer-songwriter, producer, six-time Grammy winner and big ol’ lesbian introduces herself on a whole new level in this #1 New York Times Best Seller.

“Brandi Carlile was born into a musically gifted, impoverished family on the outskirts of Seattle and grew up in a constant state of change, moving from house to house, trailer to trailer, fourteen times in as many years,” according to Penguin. 

The book delves into how medical issues shaped Brandi’s childhood. “Though imperfect in every way, her dysfunctional childhood was as beautiful as it was strange, and as nurturing as it was difficult. At the age of five, Brandi contracted bacterial meningitis, which almost took her life, leaving an indelible mark on her formative years and altering her journey into young adulthood.”

Growing up, Brandi struggled to juggle her sexual orientation and religion. “As an openly gay teenager, Brandi grappled with the tension between her sexuality and her faith when her pastor publicly refused to baptize her on the day of the ceremony. Shockingly, her small town rallied around Brandi in support and set her on a path to salvation where the rest of the misfits and rejects find it: through twisted, joyful, weird, and wonderful music.”

These experiences have contributed to Brandi’s unique impact on music. “In Broken Horses, Brandi Carlile takes readers through the events of her life that shaped her very raw art—from her start at a local singing competition where she performed Elton John’s “Honky Cat” in a bedazzled white polyester suit, to her first break opening for Dave Matthews Band, to many sleepless tours over fifteen years and six studio albums, all while raising two children with her wife, Catherine Shepherd.”

“Evocative and piercingly honest, Broken Horses is at once an examination of faith through the eyes of a person rejected by the church’s basic tenets and a meditation on the moments and lyrics that have shaped the life of a creative mind, a brilliant artist, and a genuine empath on a mission to give back.”

Speaking about the memoir, Brandi tells Vulture that she has two different sides to her that have a history of conflict: “I like wearing expensive clothes, drinking champagne, standing in a spotlight, striking a Shakespearean pose, and singing for people in this kind of grandiose way,” she says. “And then there’s this other part of me that needs to only wear ripped-up jeans, have very dirty hands, catch fish, grow vegetables, tell only the truth, and not glorify myself.”

“What the hypnotist did for me was make me understand that those two women will fight if something is going to happen that is a risk, that threatens rejection.” She continues, “And when they fight, the result of that is often an ailment. There’s a certain amount of meditation and mediation that needs to happen in those moments for me to acknowledge and make space for both of those people to exist inside of me.”

Brandi is aware that her story is unique, but believes it can still help someone: “When I wrote the book, I think I realized that I don’t have to have the same story as everybody else for someone to be helped by my story. I can be specific, and I can be really honest and accepted for who I really am — and maybe, throughout that process, help someone else.”

Read the full article here

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