Rememberings: A self-portrait of integrity, pain and punchlines

Sinéad O’Connor avoids cliche in brilliant account of artistic life lived on her own terms

Sinead O’Connor sings at the funeral Mass of puppeteer Eugene Lambert in 2010: Like many girls and women in Ireland and elsewhere, her life was honed and hemmed by misogyny. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Sinead O’Connor sings at the funeral Mass of puppeteer Eugene Lambert in 2010: Like many girls and women in Ireland and elsewhere, her life was honed and hemmed by misogyny. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

I don’t know if Sinéad O’Connor has a folder on her laptop labelled “Vindications” but, if so, one would imagine it has exceeded any conceivable storage space. Rememberings is the singer’s first memoir, and while in it she expresses a tremendous amount of admiration for the books of her brother, Joseph O’Connor, there is no mimicry here, of a family member of otherwise.

This is all Sinéad, so deftly written, so fundamentally in and of her own voice (its singing version encapsulated by Anita Baker describing it here as “cavernous”), 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.

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