“A near-perfect time capsule of Berkeley from 1995 to 1999, this vivid, shattering memoir knocked me out. . . more than 20 years later, [Hsu] gets it all down, with uncanny power, onto the page here.” —Anita Felicelli, Alta
Music is a through line of Hua Hsu’s powerful memoir Stay True
. Whether he’s discussing Nirvana with his dad, browsing the aisles of Amoeba records hoping to become someone who appreciates “world music,” dissecting the beauty of multiple versions of “God Only Knows,” decrying Pearl Jam, or driving around listening to “The Boy is Mine,” music is how Hua filters his world, how he defines himself, judges others, and processes events both tragic and joyful.
Reading Stay True is like putting on a giant 90s mixtape and going back to college. There are far too many songs to include all in one place, but Hua has curated a select few into the playlist “Expressway to Yr Finals Week [1995-1998]” for your listening enjoyment. Press play, crack the spine, and find yourself immersed in 90s nostalgia.
If you have trouble viewing the Spotify playlist, click here