... [a] moving, bawdy, open-wound of a book ... If there’s one thing pop-star memoirs teach us, it’s that fame is pretty much the same for everyone, regardless how they got there: It’s alienating and tedious and terrifying ... a near-unrecognizable version of Prince...like most everything else in this ripper of a memoir...rings true ... There are surprising revelations ... O'Connor's...long overdue for the kind of cultural reconsideration, the collective atonement, that Britney got. We were wrong about her. But O’Connor has little interest in our pity, and even less in being liked.
This is all Sinéad, so deftly written, so fundamentally in and of her own voice...that it’s almost a song in and of itself, giving us the backstory, context, truth, trimmings and transmission, of what makes her such a revolutionary, singular, incomparable artist ... O’Connor has always been an adventurous genre- and tone-shifter, carving out new territory for herself to explore. With Rememberings, she announces herself, intended or not, as a writer one yearns for more work from, if that’s not too selfish a request. People have always demanded things of O’Connor, and there’s a beautiful satisfaction in how Rememberings details, with humility, an artistic life lived on one’s own terms ... The most brilliant chapter runs to just about a page, titled It Aint Necessarily So. O’Connor deconstructs the given narrative America in particular subsumed around the SNL incident, with incredible, eye-widening clarity ... Rememberings shirks the cliches of music memoirs. It’s not so much about a career as it is about a life. Yes, there’s pain, but it’s also brimming with brilliant punchlines, barbs and thigh-slapping moments of hilarity.
... a memoir that, keeping company with its remarkable author, manages to be both fractured and fierce ... Vindications, then, could have been an alternative title for this book, an autobiography that settles scores with almost Morrissey-like zeal, yet maintains an appealing I’d-say-it-to-their-face honesty ... her voice comes through clearly—funny and uncowed. There are heartfelt passages on guardian angels and spiritual manifestations, but there is also robust discourse on tour bus lavatory etiquette and on-the-road sex. If it’s revealing, it’s not uncontrolled: as a singer she knows when to grow loud and when to drop to a lyrical whisper ... The book does lose shape towards the end: a victim, she says, of her weed-smoked memory and mental health issues. Yet there is still illuminating discussion ... O’Connor gets you onside so completely with her direct narrative, you feel you could be in the same room as her. Because of that, you feel genuine warmth towards those who are kind to her ... Rememberings stands as a hard-fought, self-built monument to someone who did it her way.
... she writes evocatively in a way that is not dissimilar to Enda O’Brien in The Country Girls or even Pat McCabe in Breakfast on Pluto ... a book so good you will want to read it twice. I did. It is that good. In it, Sinéad goes from spiritual revelations (the reason she became a singer was that she couldn’t become a priest) to dark humour that will have the reader laughing out loud at the sheer craziness of some situations
... a tremendous catalogue of female misbehaviour. Music memoirs tend to follow similar trajectories of ambition, success and depravity followed by regret and redemption. But O’Connor doesn’t do regret, and redemption isn’t required—at least not by her ... The writing is spare and conversational, and reveals O’Connor as self-deprecating, pragmatic and a sharp observer. She is funny, too ... While her childhood and rise to fame provide rich material, O’Connor, who is 54, says she can’t remember much of the past 20 years ... As such, the final chapters, which sprint through her marriages, children, a traumatic hysterectomy and spells in mental institutions, are episodic. But they remain, like the rest of her book, full of heart, humour and remarkable generosity.
Everything about it is crazy, yet also utterly compelling, persuasive, even beautiful, sprung from a mind like no one else’s ... Early on, our beloved martyr realizes, 'In real life you aren’t allowed to say you’re angry but in music you can say anything.' It turns out that she thought real life and music were the same thing. You would think she learned her lesson, but, bless her, she never did.
After years of serving as a punchline or a cautionary tale, she is speaking, and nobody is laughing now ... Rememberings is not, however, a manifesto, a polemic or even a confessional. It is certainly not anti-Catholic. Although O’Connor converted to Islam in 2018, changing her name to Shuhada’ Sadaqat, her memoir does not depict the church as an evil force ... Music runs through Rememberings like an underground stream; it’s there, feeding everything, though explanations of her connection to it surface only at rare intervals ... Memoirs are tricky things, and O’Connor’s is trickier than most, owing in part to her long and complicated relationship with fame. There is a fair amount of repetition and attempted record-straightening ... She has also attempted to maintain the privacy of those she writes about, including her siblings, her four children and, for the most part, their fathers, resulting in passages whose vagueness borders on stream-of-consciousness. To complicate things further, the book was written in two parts, divided by one of several breakdowns during which her voice, as she acknowledges, changed drastically. Not that anyone who paid any attention to her career would expect a traditional memoir from O’Connor, who has always chosen raw over polished ... we are more willing to listen.
Rememberings, a loosely chronological memoir that intersperses short, episodic chapters with poems and photos, fills in the blanks between albums, charting her traumatic childhood, creative coming-of-age and mental health struggles, including addiction, agoraphobia and anorexia. If this sounds miserable, it isn’t, as she splices fierce sincerity with irreverent humour ... Renowned for her haunting singing voice, O’Connor reveals a charismatic narrative voice: forthright, earthy, mischievous ... Her metaphors are striking, especially when evoking early influences ... A brave survival story, Rememberings is both a searing critique of the exploitation of women in entertainment and an eloquent riposte to those who have misrepresented her.
... idiosyncratic and poignant ... Writing in a shambolic, conversational style, she describes how devastated she felt after the deaths of her mother and Elvis, the first time she heard Bob Dylan perform, a disturbing encounter with Prince, her struggles with sexism and loneliness, and so much more.
The idiosyncratic singer-songwriter takes readers on an emotional roller coaster in this unapologetic, soul-baring debut ... After soaring to fame with a cover of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U, O’Connor sparked controversy by ripping up a photo of Pope John Paul II in 1992 on Saturday Night Live, a move that she says many still believe 'derailed my career.' On the contrary, she argues, 'it set me on a path that fit me better.' While that path comprised years in and out of mental-health institutions, she’s refreshingly frank about how it helped her “re-rail” her life as a mother of four and eventually return to live performance, where she 'scream[s] into mikes now and then.' This page-turner will enthrall the singer’s fans.
Promising candor and clarity, O’Connor (b. 1966) opens with a caveat that her story only details lucid periods of her life when she was psychologically 'present.' Omitting hazy years in which she drifted off 'somewhere else inside myself'—material some readers may wish she included—the author shares pivotal milestones (raising four children) and entertaining anecdotes ... Though she touches on her agoraphobia and later psychological issues, with which many of her fans will be familiar, the final third of the memoir sputters somewhat, growing less revelatory than earlier passages ... A self-aware confessional from a successful and controversial musician.