Porcelain (Penguin Press)
Moby is one of the most original and compelling musicians of our time, and Porcelain is his surprisingly honest, tender, and often, very funny memoir. With gripping storytelling and a great sense of humor, Moby recounts his path from suburban poverty and alienation to a life of beauty, squalor and unlikely success.
Moby wasn’t an ideal fit for the New York club scene of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. In an underground world of unfettered hedonism populated mostly by working class African Americans and Latinos, he was a poor, skinny white kid from Connecticut, a devout Christian, a vegan, and a teetotaler. He was a rare oddity in the New York of Palladium, of Mars, Limelight, and Twilo. But he was determined to make his way. In the process, he would learn what it was to be spat on, literally and figuratively—and to live on almost nothing.
It was perhaps the last good time for an artist to live on nothing in New York City: the age of AIDS and crack, but also of a defiantly festive cultural underworld. In Porcelain we witness Moby sharing moments with some of the most memorable artists to come out of New York during that time: Sonic Youth, Jeff Buckley, Big Daddy Kane, and others. But success came with wretched, if in hindsight sometimes hilarious, excess, and it proved all too fleeting. By the end of the decade, Moby contemplated the end of things, in his career and elsewhere in his life, and he put that emotion into what he assumed would be his swansong, the album that in fact would be the beginning of an astonishing new phase in his life, the multi-million-selling Play.
Porcelain is a chronicle of a city and a time, as well as a portrait of a young artist. It’s about making it, losing it, loving it and hating it. It's about finding your people, and your place, thinking you've lost them both, and then, finally, somehow, when you think it's over, from a place of well-earned despair, creating a masterpiece.
NOTE: As with all Skylight Books in-store events, this signing is free and open to the public (first come, first served). But because we're expecting a large crowd at this event, we'll be giving out numbered tickets to the signing line to keep things organized. Tickets will be available for purchase starting May 17, 2016.
- To get a ticket to the signing line, you must purchase a copy of Porcelain here at Skylight Books. You can also bring up to two additional items to have signed.
Praise for Porcelain
"Ten years of Moby's life, mostly in the decrepit, dangerous, much-loved New York City of the 1990s, a life comically overcrowded, filthy, alcohol-fuelled, vegan, unbelievably noisy, full of spit and semen and some sort of Christianity; and often, suddenly, moving. The writing is terrific, enlivened by a bewildered deadpan humor that makes crazy sense of it all. His ancestor Herman Melville would, I think, be simultaneously revolted and proud." --Salman Rushdie
"This is one of the funniest and most accessible books you'll ever read about an erstwhile Christian/alcoholic vegan electronic music maker. Throughout the adventures and misadventures, Danish music festivals and Barbadan disasters, Moby manages to stay wide-eyed, grateful and amazed, which itself is a real gift to the reader: we feel welcome in or just as out of place as he feels in the world of rock and raves and clubs. He remakes the music world into the form it should be: nonexclusive, unpretentious, less about division and stratification, and more about radical inclusion. Music shouldn't exist any other way."--Dave Eggers
"Raw, honest, cruel and funny, Moby's beautifully-written memoir is a pure act of bravery. He allows us to ride on his shoulder as he chases a dream through New York nightlife and the European club scene, his self-deprecating humor and unguarded nature lulling us into believing the ride will be breezy and the landing soft. Only when he starts plummeting to earth do we realize that we ve left his shoulder and climbed into his head, where self-deprecation reveals itself as self-loathing that is chasing self-destruction. It s a dark place with jagged edges not the spot to ride out this kind of fall, and Moby hides not one shard of it from us. But, in perhaps in an even greater act of bravery, he also never hides behind cynicism, or distances himself from the hope, and even innocence, of his dreams. I wish my writing could be even half as honest."--Paul Haggis
"Honest, funny, and sometimes raw, Porcelain is an intimate look at a life in motion. It proves that Moby writes like he plays music with passion and precision and heart."--Susan Orlean
Moby is one of the world's most critically acclaimed and commercially successful musicians. Known for his political and social activism, he has been a vegan for more than fifteen years. He is the co-founder of Teany, as well as a nationally distributed line of beverages and a bestselling cookbook by the same name. He lives in New York City.