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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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If You Can't Be Free, Be a Mystery : in Search of Billie Holiday (01 Edition)

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If You Can't Be Free, Be a Mystery : in Search of Billie Holiday (01 Edition) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

Singer, composer, actress, lover, wife, writer, pleasure seeker, drug addict, icon, commodity, myth and mystery: Billie Holiday is still one of the most famous jazz vocalists of all time. But Holiday's image — the gifted torch singer with insatiable appetites for food, sex, alcohol and drugs — is not the full story. Farah Jasmine Griffin's enchanting investigation of Holiday, her world and how she is remembered, at last fully liberates Lady Day from the tragic songstress myth.

Griffin argues that the stereotype of a black woman who can always take center stage to command an audience because of her incredible ability to feel, but not to think, continues to hide the real Holiday from public view. Instead of a mindless "natural" with incredible talent but no discipline, Griffin's Holiday is a jazz virtuoso whose passion and technique made every song she sang forever hers. Instead of being helpless against the racism, sexism and poverty that dominated her life, Holiday is an artist, willing to pay a tremendous price to change the sound of jazz forever. And far from being a victim of overwhelming obstacles, Lady Day is an independent spirit whose greatest legacy is that all hurdles can be overcome, whatever the odds.

Holiday's voice has permeated American music from Frank Sinatra to Macy Gray. But, until now, Holiday's influence has never been reconciled with her image. Farah Jasmine Griffin unravels the threads that make up the Holiday mystique and weaves together a new, true Lady Day that jazz fans will both love and respect.

Synopsis:

Singer, composer, actress, lover, wife, writer, pleasure seeker, drug addict, icon, commodity, myth and mystery: Billie Holiday is still one of the most famous jazz vocalists of all time. But Holiday's image — the gifted torch singer with insatiable appetites for food, sex, alcohol and drugs — is not the full story. Farah Jasmine Griffin's enchanting investigation of Holiday, her world and how she is remembered, at last fully liberates Lady Day from the tragic songstress myth.

Griffin argues that the stereotype of a black woman who can always take center stage to command an audience because of her incredible ability to feel, but not to think, continues to hide the real Holiday from public view. Instead of a mindless "natural" with incredible talent but no discipline, Griffin's Holiday is a jazz virtuoso whose passion and technique made every song she sang forever hers. Instead of being helpless against the racism, sexism and poverty that dominated her life, Holiday is an artist, willing to pay a tremendous price to change the sound of jazz forever. And far from being a victim of overwhelming obstacles, Lady Day is an independent spirit whose greatest legacy is that all hurdles can be overcome, whatever the odds.

Holiday's voice has permeated American music from Frank Sinatra to Macy Gray. But, until now, Holiday's influence has never been reconciled with her image. Farah Jasmine Griffin unravels the threads that make up the Holiday mystique and weaves together a new, true Lady Day that jazz fans will both love and respect.

About the Author

A Billie Holiday fan for as long as she can remember, Farah Jasmine Griffin is currently a visiting professor at Columbia University. She is the author of "Who Set You Flowin'?": The African-American Migration Narrative.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface
Portrait of a Lady: A Note on the Photographs

OVERTURE: A MOURNING SONG

Part One: Founding Myths
  1. Lady of the Day
  2. Lady-like
    White Lady
    Lady Day on Holiday
    Lady Di
  3. Ebony Lady and the Politics of Respectability
    Ebony Lady
    Lady in G-flat
  4. European Holiday

Part Two: Alternative Myths
  1. Lady's Men and a Woman's Day
    Neither Nor but Both
  2. Longing for Lady
    Holiday Sales
    Dark Lady of the Sonnets
  3. Abbey Lincoln: The Dawn of a New Day
    Caged Bird
    Angry Bird
    Bird Alone

Coda: A Morning Song

Endnotes

Further Reading and Listening

Bibliography

Chronology

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780684868080
Subtitle:
In Search of Billie Holiday
Author:
Griffin, Farah Jasmine
Author:
Griffin, Farah
Publisher:
Free Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
People of Color
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts
Subject:
Composers & Musicians - Jazz
Subject:
Holiday, Billie
Subject:
Singers
Copyright:
Series Volume:
106-22
Publication Date:
20010514
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in 17.008 oz

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz » Biographies

If You Can't Be Free, Be a Mystery : in Search of Billie Holiday (01 Edition) Used Hardcover
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$13.00 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Simon & Schuster, Inc. - English 9780684868080 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Singer, composer, actress, lover, wife, writer, pleasure seeker, drug addict, icon, commodity, myth and mystery: Billie Holiday is still one of the most famous jazz vocalists of all time. But Holiday's image — the gifted torch singer with insatiable appetites for food, sex, alcohol and drugs — is not the full story. Farah Jasmine Griffin's enchanting investigation of Holiday, her world and how she is remembered, at last fully liberates Lady Day from the tragic songstress myth.

Griffin argues that the stereotype of a black woman who can always take center stage to command an audience because of her incredible ability to feel, but not to think, continues to hide the real Holiday from public view. Instead of a mindless "natural" with incredible talent but no discipline, Griffin's Holiday is a jazz virtuoso whose passion and technique made every song she sang forever hers. Instead of being helpless against the racism, sexism and poverty that dominated her life, Holiday is an artist, willing to pay a tremendous price to change the sound of jazz forever. And far from being a victim of overwhelming obstacles, Lady Day is an independent spirit whose greatest legacy is that all hurdles can be overcome, whatever the odds.

Holiday's voice has permeated American music from Frank Sinatra to Macy Gray. But, until now, Holiday's influence has never been reconciled with her image. Farah Jasmine Griffin unravels the threads that make up the Holiday mystique and weaves together a new, true Lady Day that jazz fans will both love and respect.

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