Nina Simone The biography

David Brun-Lambert

Book - 2009

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BIOGRAPHY/Simone, Nina
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Subjects
Published
London : Aurum 2009.
Language
English
French
Item Description
Originally published as: Nina Simone: une vie. Paris : Éditions Flammarion, 2005.
Physical Description
346, [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index,
ISBN
9781845134303
1845134303
Main Author
David Brun-Lambert (-)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Nina Simone was one of jazz's greatest performers, but biographical works concerning her are few, perhaps because she pushed so many people away. A complex and troubled woman, Simone would verbally assault her audiences; she reputedly came from a nearly loveless upbringing, suffered from mental illness, and was naive prey in a music industry of sharks. This is a far different story from that of child prodigy Eunice Waymon, a quiet girl who dreamed of nothing more than becoming a classical pianist. Waymon would, however, grow up to be Nina Simone. Combining interviews with Simone's friends and colleagues and information from albums and Simone's autobiography, I Put a Spell on You, French music writer Brun-Lambert portrays the racial discrimination, rejection, and abandonment Simone experienced, which snowballed to create a legend who felt betrayed and lonely. VERDICT This first full-length biography of Simone is highly recommended for jazz music lovers as well as those interested in the Civil Rights Movement.—Brian Sherman, McNeese State Univ. Lib., Lake Charles, LA [Page 82]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in North Carolina at the tail-end of the Great Depression, Nina Simone was a precocious child with dreams of becoming the world’s first black classical soloist. After a rejection from an elite New York conservatoire—a rejection she always believed stemmed from the color of her skin—she began performing jazz, blues, and classical songs in a bar to fund her music studies. In 1958 her rendition of the Gershwin standard “I Loves You Porgy” became a Top 40 hit, and her subsequent debut album Little Girl Blue launched what would become an extensive singing and songwriting career. Drawing on a wealth of original interviews with Simone’s closest associates, this extraordinary biography follows her sparkling career as well as her passionate belief in racial equality that eventually led her to undergo self-imposed exile from America in 1970. Featuring rare photographs and a review of Simone’s more than 40 albums and numerous hits, this is an extensive look at the complex and extremely talented diva.