The revolutionary culture critic delivers an edgy, exhilarating tribute to Chicago, friendship, and the music that ultimately formed her voice.
Written in taut, mesmerizing, often hilarious scenes drawn from 2004 through 2009, Night Moves captures the fierce friendships and small moments that form us all. Drawing on her personal journals, Jessica Hopper chronicles her time as a DJ, living in decrepit punk houses, biking to bad loft parties with her friends, exploring Chicago deep into the night. And, along the way, she creates an homage to vibrant corners of the city that have been muted by sleek development. A book birthed in the amber glow of Chicago streetlamps, Night Moves is about a transformative moment of cultural history—and how a raw, rebellious writer found her voice.
- friends, bikes, the long night
- bands, shows, water with ice
“In this lively and funny collection, she bears vivid witness to an industrial punk landscape that is both crumbling and evolving beneath her bare feet.”
“In Night Moves, Jessica Hopper opens the window to a past that might have been my past, or your past, or the past of someone you know. It is a book of poems, it is a memoir, it is a living journal, all at once. This is the best writing—personal, but with two arms held wide open to invite you in. Night Moves is a book teeming with generosity. It gives and gives and asks only for an eager imagination in return.”
Hanif Abdurraqib, author of They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us
“In this vivid collection of snapshots from Hopper’s life as a beneficent renegade rock girl, she manages to communicate so much more than what happened and what she thought about it. She takes you with her, on every steamy summer bike ride, to every jukebox and rock show and dive bar in her wild, sweet young life.”
Lizzy Goodman, author of Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001–2011
“A series of beautiful, impressionistic dispatches from a Chicago that no longer exists, Night Moves captures Jessica Hopper’s metamorphosis from doyenne of the Midwestern punk-lit demimonde into a significant American cultural voice. Charting a scuffling journey through the city of big shoulders, Hopper details its concrete meadows, its shattering defeats and daily miracles.”
Bob Mehr, author of the New York Times bestseller Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements
“Jessica Hopper's Night Moves reads like a diary—immediate and urgent. Hopper and her friends prowl the streets of Chicago on bicycles, always moving, surrounded by both the city and a cocoon of occupied affection. It's full of music and pets and friendship and made me feel as if the heating bills in Chicago would be worth it, if one could have this sort of busy, free life. The book exists in that space between fact and fiction, between novel and memoir—but I knew right away that every word was true.”
Emma Straub, best-selling author of Modern Lovers
“A gorgeous paean to indie-punk, the aughts, Chicago, and thriving as the only girl at the sausage fest. Night Moves explores day-to-day life as an art form — a life lived in that weird gulch between corporate cog and full-on flaneur, pulsing toward a goal with nothing but friends, bikes, illuminated bar signs and the occasional sublime moment to keep you going.”
Alina Simone, author of Madonnaland: And Other Detours into Fame and Fandom