In a debut memoir as candid as her music, Phair eschews themes of typical rock-and-roll tell-all for a more introspective look at events in her life. Phair, who released her debut album Exile in Guyville 1993, made her name with bluntly honest and sometimes sexually explicit lyrics focused on desire, independence, and relationships. She does the same her, moving nonlinearly through her life and focusing on “the small indignities we all suffer daily,” where horror is found “in brief interactions that are as cumulatively powerful as the splashy heart-stoppers, because that’s where we live most of our lives.” Nine months pregnant, she became self-conscious as she was examined by her ob-gyn, recalling her first visit with a male pediatrician who erroneously told her that “she was very tight. It may be difficult for her to have sex.” Her stories include realizing that a boyfriend is a “calculatingly dishonest” cheat, her own infidelity during her first marriage, getting lost in a blinding New York City snowstorm late at night, and dealing with the frightening fallout of a street fight in Shanghai that she started. Phair admits that she can still make “colossal errors in judgement,” but her empathy for people’s “private struggles” shines throughout: “The stranger next to you is so much more like you than you think.” This powerful debut will delight Phair’s many fans.
Since then, Vicky has become women’s voice for justice on the issue, and her system-changing activism has made her a household name. In her memoir Overcoming, Vicky shares her remarkable personal story, from a life-threatening accident in early adulthood through to motherhood, a battle with depression, her devastating later discovery that her cancer had returned in shocking circumstances – and the ensuing detective-like scrutiny of events that led the charge for her history-making legal action. An inspiring story of rare resilience and power, Overcoming is an account of how one woman can move mountains – even when she is fighting for her own life – and of finding happiness and strength in the toughest of times.