Category Archives: Memoir

An Ode to the Mix Tape

Cassette From My Ex: stories and soundtracks of lost loves (edited by Jason Bitner)

by Mari Farthing

cassettes from my exI love falling into a good book. I found this one when I was surfing the aisles at my local used-book store, and as I am a woman of a certain age, the cover art captured my heart. Oh, cassette tapes; how I love thee!

This book is basically a collection of short essays wrapped around the theme of mix tapes, where the various contributors share their stories of love and loss and the mix tapes that preceded them. In some cases, portended them. Pretty much what you expect from the title of the book, but like a good mix tape, it delivers much more when you really listen.

The essays of heartache and breakup and longing and happenstance are not just stories, they’re memories from a magical, moody time of life when it was easier to speak our big emotions through someone else’s songs. The mix tapes here represent the lost art of the tape, and oh, that makes me sad. I took a trip through my own memories while reading this collection and pondered the sheer volume of mix tapes in my own past.

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