Step into the world of award-winning author David Homel as he intertwines memoir and fiction, blurring the lines between truth and imagination. Join him on a nostalgic journey through the streets of Chicago, his formative years of education, and the profound influences that shaped his path as a writer. Inspired by Homel's literary meditations, this unique collection of songs captures the essence of his captivating narrative. From soulful melodies to timeless classics, each track resonates with the spirit of his stories, inviting you to explore the power of music and storytelling in a truly immersive way.
You can catch David on CBC Radio's The Bridge, chatting with Nantali Indongo about his book—and his playlist.
How Did I Get Here? // Playlist
Page numbers refer to English edition, Pdf
“West End Blues,” Louis Armstrong, p. 2, public domain
“By the Rivers of Babylon,” reggae or other version, p 21, public domain
“Kol Nidrei,” Max Bruch, excerpt from Jacqueline Dupré version, p 36, composed ca. 1880, status?
“The Man on the Flying Trapeze,” George Leybourne, p 45, composed 1934, status?
“We Real Cool,” red by Gwendolyn Brooks, p 48, recording exists on YouTube, status?
“Jesus Is the Light of the World,” Dixie Hummingbirds, p 53, traditional?
“Pilgrim of Sorrow,” Soul Stirrers, p 57, traditional?
“The Ball Game,” Sister Wynona Carr, p 61, traditional?
“I’m Going to Tell God,” Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, p 62, public domain?
“A Change is Gonna Come,” Sam Cooke, p 65, status (written by Cooke)?
“Talkin’ Union,” the Almanac Singers, 1941, several writers, p 74, status?
“The Midnight Special,” Leadbelly version, p 80, traditional
David writes "Music runs through this collection as it has always done in my life -- in all our lives. I am a soul singer manqué. As I told Nantali, if I could sing like Wilson Pickett, I wouldn't have to write. But I can't, so here I am. Standing at the door of the consecrated church as a kid in Chicago, listening to the gospel singers wail about their troubles, and wondering if one day I might wail like they do. So have a listen, have a read, and wail away with me."
How Did I Get Here? A Writer's Education
$19.95 | ISBN: 9781773901404
David Homel is the award-winning author of nine novels and five works of fiction for younger readers, the latter co-authored with Marie-Louise Gay. In 2021, he ventured into the field of the personal essay with the memoir Lunging into the Underbrush: A Life Lived Backward (LLP 2021), which––part medical memoir and part speculation about the love life of older women and men––led Homel to return to the slippery field of self-discovery and the remodeling of the past.
[Photo: Marina Vulicevic]