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Biblioasis Fall 2016

Higher Ground
By (author): Ian McGillis
Ian McGillis





Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade
Oct 11, 2016
$19.95 CAD


8.25in x 5.25 in | 1 gr

Page Count:

224 pages
MUSIC / General

Ian McGillis may well have grown up in the whitest place in North America: Edmonton, Alberta in the 1970s and '80s. Yet, through a series of fortuitous accidents, he became exposed to the world of black music—first soul and Motown, then reggae, then hip-hop—and it became a lifelong passion. In three parts—built around Stevie Wonder's Innervisions, The Congos' Heart of The Congos, and Nas' Illmatic—Higher Ground recounts his love affair with each form. McGillis does not shy away from the tough questions: What is the line between sincere appreciation and cultural appropriation? Can a white person truly understand soul, reggae, and hip-hop? Can a black form "crossover" without losing its essence? His answers to each of these questions, and many more, are thoughtful and illuminating, and may well leave the reader rethinking some of his own assumptions.

Reminiscent of the best writing of Greil Marcus and John Jeremiah Sullivan, and mixing memoir, cultural history, and musical and cultural theory in a fresh and readable way, Higher Ground offers up a real life The Commitments and a life study in musical appreciation.

Ian McGillis resides in Montreal, is the author of the best-selling novel A Tourist's Guide to Glengarry, and writes a weekly books column for the Montreal Gazette.

Praise for Ian McGillis

"Deep, psychologically dead-on, minutely observed yet worldly—and very funny."—YANN MARTEL

"... in a genre which too often cedes artistic integrity to cliché, [McGillis] refrains from playing the judgement card like a phony."—ANDREW STEINMETZ, BOOKS IN CANADA

"Sad and exhilarating at the same time—sadness for time's march, exhilaration for such rare expression"—GLOBE AND MAIL

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