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10 Musicians Who Should Really Write Novels

Last week, we read about Alina Simone, who published her first book, a collection of essays, this past year. However, what’s fascinating about her story is that her editor (at big-name publishing house FSG, no less) didn’t discover her in a small literary journal, in a magazine article, or pluck her from an MFA program, but instead found her music on internet radio service Pandora and approached her to suggest that she write a book.

“It seemed like he already viewed music and literature as part of one continuum,” Simone has explained. “Certainly, the best songs out there read like the best poems or short stories.” Though we think there’s some room for argument on that point, we can definitely think of quite a few lyricists who we really wish would write novels — whether we think they’ve got the life experience or imagination to write a fascinating story or just enough chops slapping words together that we want to roll around in ever sentence they assemble. Click through to check out which musicians we think should write novels — and our first imaginings of what those novels would be like — and let us know who you’d like to see transition into fiction in the comments.

Craig Finn (of The Hold Steady)

Sample Lyrics:
She’s got a cross around her neck that she ripped off from a schoolgirl in the subway on a visit to the city
She likes how it looks on her chest with three open buttons
She likes the part where one brother kills the other
She has to wonder if the world ever will recover
‘Cause Cain and Abel seem to still be causing trouble

She said I was seeing double for three straight days, after I got born again
It felt strange, but it was nice and peaceful
And it really pleased me to be around so many people
Of course, half of them were visions, half of them were friends from going through the program with me
Later on we did some sexy things, took a couple photographs and carved them into wood reliefs

The Why: Many of Craig Finn’s albums are already verging on novels themselves — The Hold Steady’s Separation Sunday and Lifter Puller’s Fiestas + Fiascos in particular — so it seems only natural he should expand into prose. The closest we’ve come, however, is news that he is co-writing a screenplay to adapt Chuck Klosterman’s Fargo Rock City — though since we haven’t heard anything about this in a dishearteningly long while, we’re not pinning our hopes on it.

Our Dream Novel: Finn pens cyclical story-songs about druggies, hoodrats, and other miscreants misspending their youth in suburban Minneapolis, getting in and out of trouble and each other’s pants, getting in over their heads, or at least pretending to. We think his novel would be equally gritty, a dark look at the underside of teenage life, the story of one little girl lost in a pack of wolves. Hallelujah was a hoodrat, after all. Alternately, he could just write out the full and uncut story of the Nice, Nice so we can finally find out what happened to Charlemagne.

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