Sibbie O'Sullivan, "My Private Lennon: Explorations from a Fan Who Never Screamed" (Mad Creek Books, 2020)


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In My Private Lennon: Explorations From a Fan Who Never Screamed (Mad Creek Press, 2020), Sibbie O'Sullivan offers a new point of view from which to consider the Beatles’ impact on society and on the individual. In a series of linked autobiographical essays that explore the musical, cultural, and personal aspects of intense music fandom, Sibbie O’Sullivan dismantles the grand narrative of the fifteen-year-old hysterical female Beatles fan and replaces it with an introspective and often humorous tale about how the band shaped her intellectual and artistic development.

My Private Lennon charts the author’s realization that the Beatles, especially John Lennon, were a crucial force in her development. A radical departure from other books written by Beatles fans, My Private Lennon invites its readers to consider subjects not usually found in works about Lennon and the band, such as the constraints of memory, the male body, grief, the female breast, race, cultural issues, and the importance of privacy in our over-mediated world. In pieces that engage cultural issues and historical contexts, My Private Lennon creates a witty and provocative intimacy with readers who value the power of art to change one’s life and who love John Lennon and the Beatles.

Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music.

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