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Café Steam, Barnes and Noble and The Current are thrilled to welcome rapper, musician and author Dessa to Rochester as she launches her new memoir. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
This event is free for students. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In My Own Devices, her literary debut memoir, rapper and singer Dessa gives a candid account of her life in the van as a hard-touring musician, her determination to beat long odds to make a name for herself, and her struggle to fall out of love with someone in her band. Raw and intimate, Dessa demonstrates just how far the mind can travel while the body is on the six-hour ride to the next rap show.
Dessa defies category -- she is an academic with an international rap career; a lyrical writer fascinated by behavioral science; and a funny, charismatic performer dogged by blue moods and a perseverant case of heartache. Her onstage and backstage stories are offset by her varied fascinations -- she studies sign language, algebra, neuroanatomy -- and My Own Devices is a prism of her intellectual life. Her writing is infused with fascinating bits of science and sociology, philosophical insights, and an abiding tenderness for the people she tours with and the people she leaves behind to do it.
Dessa finds unconventional approaches to all of her subjects -- braiding her lived experience with academic research and a poet's tone and timing. In the vein of thinkers who defy categorization, we get the debut of a deft, likable, and unusual voice.
A candid conversation with Dessa about her powerful new memoir, My Own Devices (Part 1 of 2)
A candid conversation with Dessa about her powerful new memoir, My Own Devices (Part 2 of 2)
Hi, Dessa: My awkward transition from fan to critic and back again