To Throw Away Unopened is the second memoir from former guitarist with post-punk band The Slits, Viv Albertine. This follows up the hugely popular Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys; a book that covered her youth and time in the The Slits. Viv is in conversation with broadcaster Cathy Macdonald where the pair discuss To Throw Away Unopened and how the writer took to the challenge of following up the success of her previous book.
The blurb of To Throw Away Unopened states that “Viv Albertine has always been obsessed with the Truth: the truth about family, power, and her identity as a rebel and outsider”. This lays the foundation for the memoir and the truth is at the heart of this evenings discussion. Viv states that “I am always trying to find the truth about any situation“. When Viv found a bag above her mothers wardrobe with the words ” To Throw Away Unopened” written on it, this search for the truth took an exciting twist. Inside were diaries written by her father and mother whilst they were going through a divorce. This sparked a voyage of discovery which is eloquently presented in the book.
Viv also mentions artistic influences and how she does not look to hero-worship other artists. Although filmmakers such as Chris Marker and Maya Deren inspired her to go to film school and pick up a camera, she is still wary of looking to other individuals as a framework for creating her own art. Instead she likes to remain an outsider and do whatever she feels influenced by on a personal level. Recently this has been writing and the author discusses how she feels that the writing process is a therapeutic and cathartic undertaking. During the event Viv goes on to read from various sections of the book. This includes a short segment on anger. Viv likes to use humour in her writing and her vibrant personality comes through in her scathing and cutting reading.
The documentary Here to be Heard: The Story of The Slits was recently released in UK cinemas. The film showed how inventive, talented and determined the young band was. It also showed how creative and fantastic art and music can be. With To Throw Away Unopened Viv Albertine continues to create exciting and brilliant things.