Dev Hynes photographed by Jason Nocito

London-born musician Dev Hynes has made a home for himself in New York in such a way that he’s essentially become one of the city’s own, and vice versa. His “modern bohemianism,” as the New York Times called it, blooms from his ease of presence— whether performing at the Apollo to benefit a music school in Harlem, or playing basketball on a West Village school’s court (in a “league” founded by the Beastie Boys). His unique creative energy is evidenced in the sounds and lyrics he espouses through the electronica/R&B of Blood Orange (his solo musical moniker), and its visuals; he directed the video for “Better Than Me” off 2016’s Freetown Sound, to be released this week.

Below are Dev Hynes’s favorite books, available to purchase as a set or individually.



Essex Hemphill
This collection of poems, prose and essays by Essex Hemphill is my go-to carry-around book. It includes words of wonder, sadness and critique all centered around the black, gay experience — especially heightened within the AIDS epidemic. *Please note this title is not currently available.
Add to cart

The Cocktail Party

T.S. Eliot
Not too sure how I came upon this one, but if memory serves I was attracted to the cover (first edition) one evening at The Strand about seven years ago. I fell in love within the first few pages — the scenarios and reactions are both comic and devastating, especially within the dark second act that could be lifted straight out of society today.
Add to cart

The Cello Suites

Eric Siblin
What a wonder of a book. My cello bible. I long for many books like this — one third investigative journalism, one third history lesson and one third self-discovery. Eric Sibling sets out on a quest to understand the uniquely mysterious history of the Bach Cello Suites, which were discovered by the cellist Pau Casals when he was a child. Siblin goes so deep into the lives of Bach, Casals — and himself — and it will truly make you listen to these pieces in a whole new way.
Add to cart

Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center

Ray Monk
The story of possibly the most interesting man in America — a man at grips with his sexual identity, his goals, his ambition and at ends with the world that he somewhat unwittingly helped shape. A world that then turned on him. An avid reader of poets such as John Donne and the Bhagavad Gita, there is a whole lot more to this man than just the “Father of the A bomb.”
Add to cart

The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky

edited by Joan Acocella
This shit is wild. Written in under seven weeks while on a break with his wife in St. Moritz we get maybe the purest unfiltered account of an artist as they enter into stages of psychosis.
Add to cart

Swing Time

Zadie Smith
This has only recently come out and I admit I am only halfway through it, but it is speaking volumes to me. As a black, British, dancer who now resides in New York, Zadie’s descriptiveness in regards to her characters’ childhoods sent me back in time to a very English place.
Add to cart

Hold On to Your Dreams

Tim Lawrence
I’ve read this book cover to cover three times. One of three in-depth books by professor Tim Lawrence detailing the downtown New York Scene of decades past that I so admire. This one uses the musician and composer Arthur Russell as a kind of avatar to navigate the reader through what seemed like an extremely fruitful and creative time for the city. Arthur’s own frustrations with music and a battle with AIDS make this an inspiring yet tragic read.
Add to cart

The Last Interviews

James Baldwin
I’m a sucker for this morbid yet informative series which chronologically prints interviews from deceased artists ending with their last interview. Baldwin’s words could be applicable today.
Add to cart

Alvin Ailey: A Life In Dance

Jennifer Dunning
A biography of one of my favorite dancers and inspirations, this in-depth account of the life of Ailey is a must-read for any fan of modern dance.
Add to cart

Coltrane on Coltrane: The John Coltrane Interviews

edited by Chris DeVito
The ever-elusive music icon is definitely not shy in these interviews and portraits that paint the picture of man, a musician and free-thinker to be much championed.
Add to cart