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Hardcover Don't Explain: A Song of Billie Holiday Book

ISBN: 0060216298

ISBN13: 9780060216290

Don't Explain: A Song of Billie Holiday

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Book XI of the Aeneid covers four crucial days in Aeneas' struggle against the Latins. In it, Virgil gives us the funeral of Pallas, the great Latin war-council, Turnus' plan to ambush Aeneas, and the... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

"...the quintessential symbol of Black female creativity"

In "Don't Explain: A Song of Billie Holiday," author Alexis De Veaux tells the story of the great jazz singer in the form of a book-length poem. De Veaux recreates the magic of Harlem in the late 1920s, the grimness of the Great Depression, and the excitement of Billie's early gigs as a young singer. "Don't Explain" also tells about the racism Billie endured, and about her struggle with drug addiction. Especially fascinating is De Veaux's version of the story behind the great protest song, "Strange Fruit."De Veaux writes in a smooth vernacular style. Interspersed throughout her poetic text are sections of drama-like dialogue between Billie and various individuals in her life. Photographs and sheet music are also blended, collage-like, into parts of the text.I attended a presentation by author De Veaux during which she discussed this book. She said, "For me, Billie Holiday was the quintessential symbol of Black female creativity." (Hence the title of this review.) "Don't Explain" is a beautifully written tribute to a great artist, and is itself a noteworthy achievement in African-American literature.

Poetry & Music blend

I have read a few books about Billie Holiday. I have seen a few films and, of course I have many of her records. This book is great for both people who wish to learn something about Lady Day and for people who already know and love her but wish to savor the author's elequent prose. Writen as an extended poem, this accessible and readable 150 pager is the perfect way to fill just one day (or an afternoon) with a good read.
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