Greetings, readers! My name is Sareeta Domingo, and I’m an author and fiction editor. It’s my great pleasure to be bringing you a Book of the Week, each week here on Morning Mari.
This week, my selection is a recently-published autobiography by one of the preeminent singer-songwriters of the last two decades, Mariah Carey. While Ms Carey may be looked upon by some as an insubstantial recording artist, you’d A) be completely and utterly wrong, and B) you’d be hard pressed to find many other singers whose style has influenced almost all RnB singers of the last twenty years. So this week, my Book of the Week selection is Mariah’s utterly delicious memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey.
While the book was co-written with journalist Michaela Angela Davis, this is by no means a ghost-written puff piece. It truly feels imbued with Mariah’s essence, and I highly recommend the audiobook for Mariah’s wonderful performance of the work, including bursting periodically into song in her trademark breathy-to-powerful melismatic style. But you’re also treated to snippets such as the dry audio of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s ground-breaking cameo on her classic song Fantasy, preluded by a burst of Mariah rhapsodising about her love for Wu-Tang Clan. It’s amazing!
However, the predominant theme of the book is Mariah’s upbringing, which was tumultuous to say the least. It details the difficulties she felt in growing up a bi-racial girl in 1970s Long Island, New York, and how her childhood struggles, especially in regard to her race, affected her long into adult life. It’s a fascinating and very emotional story, and she also takes us behind the curtain—or perhaps as she might frame it, behind the bars—of her controlling marriage to famed record exec Tommy Mottola.
But most of all, we get a portrait of one of the most influential talents of our times, getting to understand the pressures of her type of fame. The insight into her writing process is truly fascinating, and her genuinely moving and beautiful lyrics are highlighted throughout the book. People sometimes joke about Mariah Carey is always reminding interviewers that she wrote all of her multi-award winning, record-smashing songs, but it bears emphasis. Mariah is a writer, first and foremost, and this book is testament to the fact. That is why The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey with Micheala Angela Davis, is my Book of the Week this week.