The uncompromising artist talks through the books that shaped her, from Bukowski & Plath to Looking For Alaska
To celebrate this month's Girls Rule issue, Dazed is running a series of takeovers. To follow on from last week's Stacy Martin special, today celebrates Angel Haze with a day curated by the genre-spanning NYC-based rapper. This includes a DA-Zed of Female Rap, a Selects piece on her favourite new R&B artist Maxine Ashley, an incisive journey through her visual and literary inspirations, and an extensive Q&A with Angel. Keep checking our Angel Haze Day page for more throughout the day.
Looking For Alaska by John Green
"This is one of my favourite books on the planet. The girl, she’s fiercely determined, really smart, fairly manipulative, but obviously struggling to deal with her own demons – her mom passed from cancer. Ultimately she’s faced with this question of how to get out of the labyrinth, basically... It’s just really, I don’t know, sort of teen-y but still insightful."
The Diary of Anne Frank
"I’ve got a tattoo on my arm that says ‘paper has more patience than people’; it’s one of the opening lines from (The Diary of Anne Frank). It was really cool to read what she had gone through, it was just so intimate. Especially because of how she had this whole heroic stance, but she was also a girl, who hated her mom at times, who was going through life. I just relate so closely to (it); I like to say I’m a writer before anything else, and after that I’m completely nothing, so it just resonated so deeply with me especially because I write most of my life in my journals. I don’t really talk to people as much as I talk to my journals."
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
"After I read (Tuesdays With Morrie), I looked at everyone I interact with differently. It changes your outlook, you learn to appreciate people more. It’s like The Five People You Meet In Heaven…"
The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
"...which is about five people who impacted this guy’s life before he died, that he hadn’t even realised changed the course of his life. No matter how big, how small, how long you’ve known them - these people had had a huge impact on his life and he didn’t even understand it."
The Last Night of the Earth by Charles Bukowski
"This is just a good book of poems. It’s one of those avant-garde poetry books that aren’t like ‘real’ poetry – Charles Bukowski is known for writing all these obnoxious things and then making them mean something at the end. I take inspiration (in my writing) from that and Edgar Allan Poe. Obviously in really morbid ways. Pablo Neruda, all that stuff."
Inferno by Dan Brown
"There’s a girl hero; she’s really fucking good. I always wanted to be a superhero. She’s super cool and she’s good at shooting people."
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
"This one turns into one of those psychiatric self-help books. It’s one of the best reads of my life. It’s about how little things make such a big difference."
Room by Emma Donoghue
"I was actually reluctant to read this book at first because it starts off a bit slow, but then once you’re in it, you’re in it. Its about this girl who was kidnapped at school one day, and she’s spent seven years inside this shed, and the guy that kidnapped her made her have a baby by him. And then the baby actually helps her escape. It seriously feels like overcoming. I swear, after I read it, I didn’t really look at life the same any more."
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
"Slaughterhouse Five is a time travelling novel; this guy knows how he’s going to die, he basically ends up saying exactly how he’s going to die. I’m sort of a nerd in that way, I wish I could time travel."
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
"She (the protagonist Esther Greenwood, based on Plath) would rather die than live a fake life. It’s really inspirational in the sense that it’s just about surviving. Even if it’s just getting through your life in any way fucking possible, you know? It means a lot."