You Probably Think This Song Is About You
Longlisted for the General Nonfiction Award in the 2023 Ockham NZ Book Awards
In these disarming true stories, Kate Camp moves back and forth through the smoke-filled rooms of her life: from a nostalgic childhood of the Seventies and Eighties, through the boozy pothead years of the Nineties, and into the sobering reality of a world in which Hillary Clinton did not win.
‘Never apologise, never explain’, Kate’s mother used to say, and whether visiting her boyfriend in prison, canvassing door-to-door for Greenpeace, in a corporate toilet with sodden underwear, or facing the doctor at an IVF clinic, she doesn’t.
The result is a memoir brimming with hard-won wisdom and generous humour; a story that, above all, rings true.
‘I didn’t want it to end. Kate is clever, observant, funny, moving yet never sentimental, wise, and as brave as they come. She takes risks. Combine these attributes with her exceptional ability to craft the perfect phrase, sentence, paragraph, story—and there you have it: a deeply rewarding read.’ —Linda Burgess
‘Kate Camp trains her poet’s eye on topics as diverse as bad relationships, smoking, misheard songs, the fallibility of memory, and the wrong turns we take—all with a deliciously close focus that draws us right in. Her essays shine with wit, intelligence, and a humanity that is both intimate and universal. An unmissable read.’ —Catherine Chidgey
Kate Camp is the author of seven collections of poems, including The Mirror of Simple Annihilated Souls (winner of the 2011 NZ Post Book Award for Poetry) and How to Be Happy Though Human: New and Selected Poems (2020). She was born in 1972 and lives in Wellington.
Cover: Collection Box of Cereal toys, 2021. Photo by Dionne Ward. Te Papa (173437)
Design: Philip Kelly