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About The Book

‘Williams’s memoir is as flinty, earthy and plain-spoken as her songs’ New York Times
‘The often hilarious, occasionally harrowing Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You is a bracingly candid chronicle of a sui generis character plotting a ramshackle but ultimately triumphant trajectory’ Wall Street Journal
‘An engaging read and beautifully written’ MOJO

The beloved and iconic singer-songwriter and three-time Grammy winner opens up about her traumatic childhood in the Deep South, her years of being overlooked in the music industry, and the stories that inspired her enduring songs.

Lucinda Williams’s rise to fame was anything but easy. Raised in a working-class family in the Deep South, she moved from town to town each time her father—a poet, a textbook salesman, a professor, a lover of parties—got a new job, totalling twelve different places by the time she was 18. Her mother suffered from severe mental illness and was in and out of hospitals. And when Williams was about a year old she had to have an emergency tracheotomy—an inauspicious start for a singing career.

But she was also born a fighter, and she would develop a voice that has captivated millions.

Lucinda Williams takes readers through the events that shaped her music—from performing for family friends in her living room to singing at local high schools and colleges, to recording her first album and headlining a sold-out show at Radio City Music Hall. She reveals the inspirations for her unforgettable lyrics, including the doomed love affairs with ‘poets on motorcycles’, and the gothic Southern landscapes of the many different towns of her youth. Williams spent years working at health food stores and record stores during the day so she could play her music at night, and faced record companies who told her that her music was ‘too unfinished’, ‘too country for rock and too rock for country’, and criticism that she didn’t have the right voice for radio or TV. But her fighting spirit persevered, leading to a hard-won success that spans 17 Grammy nominations and a legacy as one of the greatest and most influential songwriters of our time.

Raw, intimate and honest, Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You is an evocative reflection on an extraordinary woman’s life journey.

About The Author

Lucinda Williams is an iconic rock, folk and country music singer, songwriter and musician. She is a three-time Grammy Award winner and 17-time nominee. She has also won two Americana Awards and been nominated twelve times. Williams was named ‘America’s best songwriter’ by Time magazine and one of the ‘100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time’ by Rolling Stone.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (July 19, 2023)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471177484

Raves and Reviews

Don’t Tell Anybody The Secrets I Told You sees the full flowering of the prose writer her lyrics always hinted at. There’s a remarkable honesty to it. At times it is painful…and occasionally hilarious... But always determined and defiant’

– Uncut Magazine

‘An engaging read, it’s as “unsugar-coated” as she said…And it’s beautifully written

– Sylvie Simmons, MOJO

'Deeply personal'

– New York Times

'Raw and honest, this must-read account soars on the back of Williams’s hard-won wisdom about making art and overcoming struggle. Fans and non-fans will be rapt'

– Publishers Weekly

'Honest and raw, this book serves a slice of an inspiring life that reminds readers to keep trying'

– Library Journal

‘What elevates Don’t Tell Anybody The Secrets I Told You above the typical musical biography is that she very much does tell us the secrets. It’s her back story, her life experiences, and the way these events interwind with her songwriting, that really brings this book to life'

– Louder Than War

'Remarkable… Reading like it was written on a series of cocktail napkins in the absolutely best way, this ever-quotable memoir of a born songsmith has something to offer nearly any grownup who has listened to music for the last half-century'

– Booklist

Revealing…a poignant, plainspoken life story from a dedicated musician'

– Kirkus Reviews

‘This tough, tender autobiography details Williams' often heart-breaking inspiration for her greatest songs'

– Uncut

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