Series editor Q&A: Gayle Wald + a forthcoming book in 33 1/3!

For the 2nd edition of our 33 1/3 Series Editor Q&A feature, we spoke with Gayle Wald. In the interview below, Gayle talks about her role in the 33 1/3 series, what she looks for when reviewing book proposals, and also discusses a forthcoming book in the series, currently slated for publication in fall 2019.

What do you do outside of being a 33 1/3 series editor?

I teach English and American studies at George Washington University in DC, where I get to teach courses on U.S. Popular Music, among other things.

What are you reading or listening to right now?

I just started N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, an award-winning sci-fi novel from 2015. After a lifetime of avoiding science fiction, I’ve just started to be drawn to it. Right now my listening includes Chuck Berry and Rhiannon Giddens’s latest album, Freedom Highway. I can’t get a certain Weeknd song out of my head.

What are some of your favorite books in the series?

My all-time favorite is the all-time bestselling 33 1/3 book: Carl Wilson’s Let’s Talk About Love by Celine Dion. I’ve taught this book a number of times, and it’s always a great introduction to the politics of taste. It’s a worthy exercise to think about music you loathe.

Why are you excited to be part of 33 1/3?

I love 33 1/3 as a platform for writers’ creativity. At their best, these books can be riffs in dialogue with the music they dissect and discuss. And I appreciate 33 1/3 as an outlet for passionate writing, including the writing of fans.

What do you look for in a proposal?

I’m less concerned with the choice of an album than with the author’s vision. Why is it important to tell a story about this album? Why now? And why you [the author]? Along with the other members of the editorial team, I’m interested in expanding the scope of the series and to find new literary voices, or familiar voices writing in a new mode.

Tell us a little bit about the new titles you chose for the series. What drew you to them?

Odette-page-001 (1)

Matt Jacobson on Odetta’s One Grain of Sand* was a no-brainer for me. Jacobson’s a celebrated American historian, and Odetta is a celebrated–and strangely under-studied–20th-century American singer and musician.

*publishing in fall 2019!




2 thoughts on “Series editor Q&A: Gayle Wald + a forthcoming book in 33 1/3!”

  1. I think basically what happened is people realized hitting is not the best method. Just like they realized hey, beating your wife because she doesnt listen to you or beating your children because they misbehave doesnt work either. The idea behind positive reinforcement is your dog doesnt learn to fear you. Any person that wants their dog to fear them doesnt need to have a dog anyway, thats irresposible and immature.

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