Review: The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
I've known of Amanda Palmer for a long time. I can remember hearing her band, the Dresden Dolls on Triple J back in the day, and getting a little bit excited when their song Coin Operated Boy made Triple J's Hottest 100 and was included on that years Hottest 100 CD, which I still own but, frustratingly, I haven't been able to find these past couple of weeks. I remember feeling impressed when I learned that she was married to one of my favourite authors, Neil Gaiman. And more recently, I discovered the song she wrote about Judy Blume who is one of my favourite childhood authors, but perhaps I ought to write a separate post on that ...
The Art of Asking was published in 2014. Obviously, it is a book about making oneself vulnerable by being willing to ask for help, even when it seems like that may be the hardest thing in the world to do. It's also a beautifully intimate account of human connection--the way that Amanda has connected with her fans and her art is nothing short of amazing. I found the account of finding human connection--whether it be during her stint as The Bride, a moving statue how gifted those who dropped money in her hat a flower--or during her enormously successful Kickstarter campaign where the fans and donors were very much a part of a community making things happen. There's also a bit on how she struggled to accept to ask for help from the people that she cares about the most and how she found a way to break those barriers down.
This was an absolutely fascinating read. Warm, intimate and heartfelt. It challenged a few of my perceptions about human connection in a way that I found extremely helpful, and that I hope to put to use in the future.