Rhiannon Giddens Unveils New Audible Original, 4-Book Publishing Deal

MusicRow.com Lorie Hollabaugh

Rhiannon Giddens. Photo: Ebru Yildiz

Rhiannon Giddens has announced that she will be releasing a new Audible Original audiobook, To Balance on Bridges, on July 22. Giddens also shared that she has inked a new four-book publishing deal with Candlewick Press which includes two picture books. The first of these, Build a House, will be due in fall of 2022.

Giddens’ Audible Original will debut as part of the Words + Music series exclusively on Audible. The 1.5 hour audio-only memoir follows Giddens as she examines the multitude of influences and identities that have defined her creative life. Throughout To Balance on Bridges, she leads listeners through a journey of musical styles, lyrical patterns, and instrumentation while confronting questions on race, culture, appropriation, and class with searing precision while also delivering performances from several of her acclaimed albums. Audible’s signature Words + Music series has recently featured top recording artists such as Common, Tom Morello, and Patti Smith.

Build a House is based on the song Giddens wrote in 2020 for the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth which she originally performed with Yo-Yo Ma. Amid the 2020 demonstrations for racial equity and drawing on and conveying Black history, “Build a House” emerged as an important new protest anthem. Illustrated by Monica Mikai, the picture book illuminates the song’s message of Black courage and perseverance in the face of enslavement, violence, and appropriation.

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Lorie Hollabaugh