One Direction’s Zayn Malik has published a book. Well, it’s like a book. It’s called “Zayn.” It’s also a souvenir, something for his fans to spend fifteen bucks on. It’s more like a press release, in long form, with photos.
Not mentioned: the names of any of his band members from One Direction, no Harry Styles, or Liam or Niall or Louis. Did he like them? Did they help him? Was there camaraderie or fighting? Were there resentments? Was he closer to one of the other? You won’t find out here.
There’s also no mention of Simon Cowell, who packaged the group from its appearances on his UK talent show. Zayn refrains from mentioning his girlfriend, the model Gigi Hadid, or any of her extended reality TV show model family. He does refer a couple of times to his former girlfriend, singer Perrie Edwards, only to say their relationship broke up.
Zayn does reveal that he was diagnosed with ADHD when he was younger. He also suffers from anxiety, a word that appears 31 times in this very slim volume. That’s admirable, and quite an admission from a young man trying to make a big career on his own.
He writes: “Probably one of the worst experiences of anxiety I had pre-Wembley was in the lead-up to the iHeartRadio Music Awards in LA, not long after the album was released. I’d got myself into this headspace where I was just like, ‘No way. I can’t do it. I’m not doing it.’ Out of nowhere, I felt totally paralysed. My whole team came around to the house. They were trying to shake me out of it, but, for the longest time, I just couldn’t see how I was going to do it.
Then something clicked, and about thirty minutes before the show I managed to break through that wall, or whatever it was, and I did it. I felt sick. I was vomiting backstage before the performance, but I remember coming off after singing feeling so elated. It was so awesome playing that gig, the crowd was so supportive and it was like a huge victory for me: I hadn’t let my anxiety get the better of me; I’d done it.”
“Zayn,” the book, offers no insights into any of Malik’s experiences with the members of One Direction, or much about the band except that he didn’t like their songs in general. He was raised, he says, on Biggie Smalls, and Tupac.
One thing is for certain: Zayn’s book will find itself included in the hilarious “Celebrity Biography” readings off Broadway. And, maybe sooner, Stephen Colbert can do a dramatic reading from it.