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Stories I Might Regret Telling You

'With disarming candour and courage, Martha tells us of finding her own voice and peace as a working artist and mother. Her story is made more unique because of the remarkably gifted musical family she was born into.' EMMYLOU HARRIS

This is Martha Wainwright’s heartfelt memoir about growing up in a bohemian musical family and her experiences with love, loss, motherhood, divorce, the music industry and more.


Born into music royalty, the daughter of folk legends Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III and sister to the highly-acclaimed singer Rufus Wainwright, Martha grew up in a world filled with such incomparable folk legends as Leonard Cohen, Anna McGarrigle, Richard and Linda Thompson, Pete Townsend and Emmylou Harris. It was within this loud, boisterous, musical milieu that Martha came of age, struggling to find her voice until she exploded onto the music scene with her 2005 debut and critically acclaimed album, Martha Wainwright, which contained the blistering hit, ‘Bloody Mother F*cking Asshole’, which the Sunday Times called one of the best songs of that year. Her successful debut album and the ones that followed such as Come Home to MamaI Know You're Married but I've Got Feelings Too and Goodnight City came to define Martha's searing songwriting style and established her as a powerful voice to be reckoned with.

In Stories I Might Regret Telling You, Martha digs into the deep recesses of herself with the same emotional honesty that has come to define her music. She describes her tumultuous public-facing journey from awkward, earnest and ultimately rebellious daughter, through her intense competition and ultimate alliance with her brother, Rufus, to the heart-breaking loss of their mother, Kate, and then, finally, discovering her voice as an artist. With candour and grace, Martha writes of becoming a mother herself and making peace with her past struggles with Kate and her younger self. Ultimately, this book offers a thoughtful and deeply personal look into the extraordinary life of one of the most talented singer-songwriters in music today.
 

‘With disarming candour and courage, Martha tells us of finding her own voice and peace as a working artist and mother. Her story is made more unique because of the remarkably gifted musical family she was born into.’ 

– Emmylou Harris

What a wonderful gift this book is! Martha Wainwright has opened the door to let us into the fabled, glamorous family that is the McGarrigle-Wainwrights and reveals what it is like to be the black sheep of the bunch, the earnest, glorious underachiever who has always been the most loveable of them all. Her warm, rich writing displays the sweetness her songwriting possesses and, at the same time, is filled with the humor, panache and gutsy feminism of her live performances. Wainwright shows us how a big, dysfunctional brood can also be a blessing, filled with gifts that make the heart grow bigger. A surprising and brilliantly relatable book.’ 

– Heather O'Neill, bestselling author of The Lonely Hearts Hotel

A beautiful and clear-eyed memoir, full of music, friendship, love, and heartache. Somehow at once sizzling and wise, as undeniable as the singer who wrote it.’ 

– Sean Michaels, Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning novelist and founder of Said the Gramophone

‘I have been listening to Martha Wainwright for at least twenty years, admiring her from afar. Her new memoir, Stories I Might Regret Telling You, made me feel like I was sitting in a corner of one of her New York apartments, reading her private diaries under a blanket with a flashlight . . . I was sucked in from the first page, though occasionally I winced because it was all so relatable . . . I turned the last page and felt like I had made a new friend, the kind you wish you were cool enough to have but never had the courage to pursue. My only disappointment? Her memoir wasn’t long enough. I can’t wait for volume two.’ 

– Jann Arden, singer, songwriter, TV star and bestselling author