I never cared about Karen Carpenter, not really. Sure, I've driven through the Missouri Ozarks with my older sister, both of us singing along to “Top of the World” and dreaming of life in California (though neither of us would ever move to California). But I was born too late; in 1984, the Carpenters were no longer “cool,” and pop music itself had undergone a grittier transformation under the tutelage of Prince, Madonna, and Janet Jackson. In fact, Karen Carpenter was already dead, of heart failure related to her anorexia nervosa, a year before my birth. If we heard the Carpenters, it was because one of our parents had left “Close...
Review: Why Karen Carpenter Matters by Karen Tongson
D. Gilson is the author of the forthcoming essay collection Incarnate: Notes from an Evangelical Boyhood (University of Georgia, 2020) and the cultural memoir Boyfriends (New York University, 2019). His other books include Jesus Freak (Bloomsbury, 2018), with Will Stockton; I Will Say This Exactly One Time: Essays (Sibling Rivalry, 2015); Brit Lit (Sibling Rivalry, 2013); and Catch & Release (2012), winner of the Robin Becker Prize. His work has appeared in The Indiana Review, POETRY, and The Rumpus, and he teaches at Missouri State University.
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D. Gilson; Review: Why Karen Carpenter Matters by Karen Tongson. Journal of Popular Music Studies 1 December 2019; 31 (4): 167–169. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jpms.2019.31.4.167
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