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Visual artist and cultural critic Larissa Pham’s Pop Song: Adventures in Art & Intimacy is a tender and candid rumination on art and love that isn’t afraid of vulnerability. Pham covers a lot of ground in these essays, both literally and emotionally: Tracing her movements in her twenties from Yale to France to Taos to Shanghai, she describes profound connections with people and pop culture, and explores the ways in which music and art have shaped her understanding of herself, her relationships and the world she inhabits. It’s a formidable debut.

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