Let Me Clear My Throat by Elena Passarello
Essays

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Synopsis

From Farinelli, the eighteenth century castrato who brought down opera houses with his high C, to the recording of "Johnny B. Goode" affixed to the Voyager spacecraft, Let Me Clear My Throat dissects the whys and hows of popular voices, making them hum with significance and emotion. There are murders of punk rock crows, impressionists, and rebel yells; Howard Dean's "BYAH!" and Marlon Brando's "Stella!" and a stock film yawp that has made cameos in movies from A Star is Born to Spaceballs. The voice is thought's incarnating instrument and Elena Passarello's essays are a riotous deconstruction of the ways the sounds we make both express and shape who we are—the annotated soundtrack of us giving voice to ourselves.

Elena Passarello is an actor and writer originally from Charleston, South Carolina. She studied nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Iowa, and her essays have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Gulf Coast, Slate, Iowa Review, The Normal School, Literary Bird Journal, Ninth Letter, and in the music writing anthology Pop Till the World Falls Apart. She has performed in several regional theaters in the East and Midwest, originating roles in the premieres of Christopher Durang's Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge and David Turkel's Wild Signs and Holler. In 2011 she became the first woman winner of the annual Stella Screaming Contest in New Orleans.

 

About Elena Passarello

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Elena Passarello is an actor and writer originally from Charleston, SC. She studied nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Iowa, and her essays have appeared inCreative Nonfiction, Gulf Coast, Slate, Iowa Review, Normal School, Literary Bird Journal, Ninth Letterand in the music writing anthologyPop Till the World Falls Apart. She has performed in several regional theaters in the East and Midwest, originating roles in the premieres of Christopher Durang’sMrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Bingeand David Turkel’sWild SignsandHoller. In 2011, she became the first woman winner of the annual "Stella! Shout Out" screaming contest in New Orleans.
 
Published October 9, 2012 by Sarabande Books. 240 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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As a child, she took pleasure in trying to out-shout her mother, whom she calls "one of the loudest people I have known in my life.” Throughout her young adulthood, she used her voice "as an actor in plays that required lots of talking, some singing and the very occasional scream.” Passarello exp...

Aug 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Let Me Clear My Throat: Essays

Publishers Weekly

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In the most moving essay, an account of Judy Garland’s legendary concert at Carnegie Hall meanders forward and backward through the diva’s troubled life, taking us from the “little red-walled room” of her mother’s womb, filled with her voice, to the glittery blue velvet that lined her f...

Jun 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Let Me Clear My Throat: Essays

Star Tribune

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From Howard Dean to Marlon Brando, this book is a fascinating collection of lore about why we make the sounds we do, and what they mean.

Dec 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Let Me Clear My Throat: Essays

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Dec 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Let Me Clear My Throat: Essays

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