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Met meer as 7 000 verhoogoptredes op sy kapstok is Pieter-Dirk Uys volksbesit. In Weerklink van ’n wanklank, sy skreeusnaakse, roerende memoires, tree die mens agter die ikoon te voorskyn.
Ons leer ken sy moeilike, musikaal-gedrewe pa, sy briljante, geheimsinnige ma, sy suster, die pianis-wonderkind, en Sannie Abader, “Pietertjie” se Kaapse Vlakte-ma.
Dan is daar sy Paarlse ouma wat hom neem om by die Verwoerds te gaan kuier, sy ander Oma en haar onverbeterlike strudel, sy vriendskap met Sophia Loren, die geboorte van Evita Bezuidenhout, en die vreugdes en hartseer van ’n merkwaardige lewe.
An inspiring story of one man’s rise from poverty and oppression to success and fame in the international world of opera...
It is a difficult undertaking for any human to escape the cycle of poverty, but to do so from one of the world’s most complex political systems, with a brutal history of segregation and deprivation, is nothing short of a miracle. Yet Musa Ngqungwana’s story doesn’t end there. Not only did he manage to extricate himself from his impoverished past, but he found his way to the great opera houses of the world, attaining immense success in an affluent art form that bears no resemblance to his upbringing or culture. Musa’s life and career are proof that any human can overcome the devastating effects of discrimination and poverty.
Odyssey Of An African Opera Singer chronicles Musa’s journey from the townships of South Africa to the world stage. It is a story of hope, showing how humans, no matter their situation, have the opportunity to claim their gifts, develop them and use them to help others in need. A captivating story that will inspire anyone who has ever had a dream...
When South Africa’s golden girl of broadcasting, Tracy Going’s battered face was splashed across the media back in the late 1990s, the nation was shocked. South Africans had become accustomed to seeing Going, glamorous and groomed on television or hearing her resonant voice on Radio Metro and Kaya FM. Sensational headlines of a whirlwind love relationship turned horrendously violent threw the “perfect” life of the household star into disarray.
What had started off as a fairy-tale romance with a man who appeared to be everything that Going was looking for – charming, handsome and successful – had quickly descended into a violent, abusive relationship.
“As I stood before him all I could see were the lies, the disappearing for days without warning, the screaming, the threats, the terror, the hostage-holding, the keeping me up all night, the dragging me through the house by my hair, the choking, the doors locked around me, the phones disconnected, the isolation, the fear and the uncertainty.”
The rosy love cloud burst just five months after meeting her “Prince Charming” when she staggered into the local police station, bruised and battered. A short relationship became a two-and-a-half-year legal ordeal played out in the public eye. In mesmerising detail, Going takes us through the harrowing court process – a system seeped in injustice – her decline into depression, the immediate collapse of her career due to the highly public nature of her assault and the decades-long journey to undo the psychological damages in the search for safety and the reclaiming of self. The roots of violence form the backdrop of the book, tracing Going’s childhood on a plot in Brits, laced with the unpredictable violence of an alcoholic father who regularly terrorised the family with his fists of rage.
“I was ashamed of my father, the drunk. If he wasn’t throwing back the liquid in the lounge then he’d be finding comfort and consort in his cans at the golf club. With that came the uncertainty as I lay in my bed and waited for him to return. I would lie there holding my curtain tight in my small hand. I would pull the fabric down, almost straight, forming a strained sliver and I would peer into the blackness, unblinking. It seemed I was always watching and waiting. Sometimes I searched for satellites between the twinkles of light, but mostly the fear in my tummy distracted me.”
Brilliantly penned, this highly skilled debut memoir, is ultimately uplifting in the realisation that healing is a lengthy and often arduous process and that self-forgiveness and acceptance is essential in order to fully embrace life.
Die geskiedenis van die eerste 59 jaar van die SAUK se bestaan; vanaf 1936 tot 1995. Die vertel ook die ontstaan van openbare uitsaai, die missie en doelwitte daarvan en waarom dit hersien moet word.
Die politieke element word bespreek: Watter soort stut was die SAUK vir apartheid? Watter rol het die SAUK gespeel as sleutelspeler in die transformasieproses? Daar word gekyk na politieke inmenging en aanstellings wat direk uit die Uitsaaiminister se staatsdepartement gemaak is. Ook ingespan is die SAUK se sleutelrol in geskiedkundige gebeure: Die vrylating van Nelson Mandela en die vryheidsverkiesing van 1994.
Die boek behoort nie net die wye publiek nie, maar ook akademici, historici en politici te interesseer.
Love’s got everything to do with it.
Tina Turner is the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, a musical icon celebrating her 60th year in the industry. In this dramatic autobiography, she tells the story of a truly remarkable life in the spotlight. From her early years picking cotton in Nutbush, Tennessee to her rise to fame alongside Ike Turner, and finally to her phenomenal success in the 1980s and beyond, Tina candidly examines her personal history, from her darkest hours to her happiest moments and everything in between.
Brimming with her trademark blend of strength, energy, heart and soul, My Love Story is a gripping, surprising memoir, as memorable and entertaining as any of her greatest hits.
CALLING ALL WOMEN!
She: A Celebration Of 100 Renegade Women by Stylist's Harriet Hall is the must-have book for women everywhere. Perfect for fans of Caitlin Moran, Lena Dunham and Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls.
She: A Celebration Of 100 Renegade Women is a love letter to all the women who have thrown out the rulebook and threatened the status quo. It's a toast to the brave, bold and brilliant women who make us proud to be ladies. From fashion icon Coco Chanel to Queen Cleopatra, from literary legend Jane Austen to trailblazer Michelle Obama and from kick-ass activist Malala Yousafzai to the one-and-only Beyoncé, this book honours 100 truly renegade women, from history through to present day.
Gorgeously curated and expertly written by Stylist journalist Harriet Hall, and filled with stunning black and white illustrations by Alice Skinner, this is a thing of beauty to be worshipped, just like the women that make up its contents.
This statement, timely book is the perfect gift for the renegade women in your life who inspire and amaze you or, for YOU, to simply make you proud of being a woman.
Tumi Morake modelled her public persona on her mother, a charming and contentious woman who used her big, bold voice to say what others were afraid to utter. It’s the personality that Tumi took on stage in the mostly male space of stand-up comedy, and the one that gave her the courage to join a white, Afrikaans radio station and comment about apartheid on air.
But there’s only so much you can find out about Tumi from the stage, the screen and the internet. And Then Mama Said… is the voice of Tumi in private, as well as a behind-the-scenes perspective of a pioneering South African star who has been both deeply loved and viciously hated by her audiences.
Tumi gets frank about the race row at Jacaranda FM; the Jaguar car accident that cyber bullies said she deserved; the body-shaming she endured on the set of Our Perfect Wedding; and her tumultuous relationship with her beloved husband. Throughout her story, she carries the voice of her mother, and with it the indispensable life lessons that made her who she is today.
The definitive final word on the world's greatest rock band, Led Zeppelin.
Over ten years after When Giants Walked The Earth, Mick's seminal biography of the band, comes this major and extensively researched revision, which will provide an unflinching look at life inside one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time, and present the definitive, final word on Led Zeppelin.
They were 'the last great band of the sixties; the first great band of the seventies'; they rose, somewhat unpromisingly, from the ashes of the Yardbirds to become one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time. Mick Wall, respected rock writer and former confidant of both Page and Plant, unflinchingly tells the story of the band that wrote the rulebook for on-the-road excess - and eventually paid the price for it, with disaster, drug addiction and death.
When Giants Walked The Earth reveals for the first time the true extent of band leader Jimmy Page's longstanding interest in the occult, and goes behind the scenes to expose the truth behind their much-hyped yet spectacularly contrived comeback at London's O2 arena in 2007, and how Jimmy Page plans to bring the band back permanently - if only his former protege, now part-time nemesis, Robert Plant will allow him to. Wall also recounts, in a series of flashbacks, the life stories of the five individuals that made the dream of Led Zeppelin into an even more incredible and hard-to-swallow reality: Page, Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, and their infamous manager, Peter Grant.
Sally Field is one of the most celebrated, beloved and enduring actors of our time, and now she tells her story for the first time in this intimate and haunting literary memoir. In her own words, she writes about a challenging and lonely childhood, the craft that helped her find her voice, and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother.
Sally Field has an infectious charm that has captivated audiences for more than five decades, beginning with her first television role at the age of 17. From Gidget’s sweet-faced ‘girl next door’ to the dazzling complexity of Sybil to the Academy Award-winning ferocity and depth of her role in Norma Rae and Mary Todd Lincoln, Field has stunned audiences time and time again with her artistic range and emotional acuity. Yet there is one character who always remained hidden: the shy and anxious little girl within.
With raw honesty and the fresh, pitch-perfect prose of a natural-born writer, and with all the humility and authenticity her fans have come to expect, Field brings readers behind the scenes for not only the highs and lows of her star-studded early career in Hollywood, but deep into the truth of her lifelong relationships including, most importantly, her complicated love for her own mother.
Powerful and unforgettable, In Pieces is an inspiring and important account of life as a woman in the second half of the twentieth century.
In 2011 the world was shocked when the news broke that Joost van der Westhuizen, known for years as the golden boy of South African rugby and a former Springbok captain, had been diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND).
This rare condition attacks the central nervous system, causing progressive disability. There is no known cure. All who have seen Joost in action will know that he is not one to give up without a fight. His game-changing prowess as a brilliant scrum half is now focused on a battle for survival and, more importantly, on making a difference to the lives of others with the disease. In a race against time, Joost has a dream to fulfil. He says: “In the beginning you go through all the emotions and you ask, ‘Why me?’ It’s quite simple. ‘Why not me?’ If I have to go through this to help future generations, why not me?” His acceptance of his symptoms is equally pragmatic: “One day you can’t move your arm, another day you don’t have speech. Every day you are reborn and you take the day as it comes.”
Glory Game – The Joost van der Westhuizen Story is a compelling narrative of redemption set against the backdrop of an illustrious career in rugby. It is the story of a modern-day warrior forced to face his own human frailty. Joost shows us that beyond ambition, success and fame lies the true wealth of family and friends, and that within a ravaged body the spirit can remain invincible.
Ed Sheeran has conquered the musical world. Avoiding flashy showmanship and fleeting fashion, he has let his talent do the talking. His moving and uplifting songs forge a lasting connection with the millions of people around the world who love his music.
Bestselling biographer Sean Smith has travelled to the quiet Suffolk backwater that Ed still calls home. Seeing the sunset over the famous ‘Castle on the Hill’ for himself, he follows in the footsteps of Ed’s amazing journey from the boy who could barely hold a tune to the man who sold out Wembley Stadium.
He tells the story of Ed’s remarkable mum and dad who gave their son the courage and confidence to pursue his dream, the friends and mentors who taught and encouraged him and the lovers who inspired his most famous songs.
Ed Sheeran was fifteen when he recorded his first album in his bedroom. But while he was well known for performing his own songs in local pubs and clubs before he was even old enough to drink, he was not ‘discovered’ or groomed for stardom.
Instead he left High School before completing his A-Levels and moved to London where he went to college two days a week, performed hundreds of gigs on the capital’s thriving music scene and sold his self-financed CDs from his rucksack. At the end of the evening, he would head to friends’ flats to sleep on a sofa or on the floor. It was far from glamorous and sometimes the struggle threatened to overwhelm him.
Somehow, Ed’s determination won through and his fortunes changed when he was taken on by Elton John’s management company. Smith explores the joy of a record deal when past rejections were forgotten; the song that changed everything and how he conquered America with a little help from Taylor Swift.
After three number one albums, he is now the biggest earning music star in the UK and the richest under thirty, worth more than £80 million. Surrounded by a world of excess, he found it difficult to cope with his phenomenal fame before a new relationship with a girl from his home town brought him stability and a fresh purpose in life.
Ed Sheeran the book is a fascinating and revealing insight into Ed Sheeran the man…and his music.
Skollie, saint, scholar, hippest of hippies, imperfect musician with a perfect imagination, Syd Kitchen was, like all great artists, born to enrich his art and not himself.
Plagued by drugs, alcohol and depression, too much of an outlaw to be embraced by record companies, he frequently sold his furniture to cover production costs of his albums, seduced fans at concerts and music festivals worldwide with his dazzling ‘Afro-Saxon’ mix of folk, jazz, blues and rock interspersed with marvellously irreverent banter, and finally became the subject of several compelling documentaries, one of which - Fool in a Bubble - premiered in New York in 2010.
Academy award–winning actress, producer and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon invites you into her world, where she infuses the southern style, parties and traditions she loves with contemporary flair and charm.
Reese Witherspoon’s grandmother Dorothea always said that a combination of beauty and strength made southern women 'whiskey in a teacup'. We may be delicate and ornamental on the outside, she said, but inside we’re strong and fiery.
Reese’s southern heritage informs her whole life, and she loves sharing the joys of southern living with practically everyone she meets. She takes the South wherever she goes with bluegrass, big holiday parties, and plenty of Dorothea’s fried chicken. It’s reflected in how she entertains, decorates her home, and makes holidays special for her kids - not to mention how she talks, dances and does her hair (in these pages, you will learn Reese’s fail-proof, only slightly insane hot-roller technique). Reese loves sharing Dorothea’s most delicious recipes as well as her favourite southern traditions, from midnight barn parties to backyard bridal showers, magical Christmas mornings to rollicking honky-tonks.
It’s easy to bring a little bit of Reese’s world into your home, no matter where you live. After all, there’s a southern side to every place in the world, right?
Truly unique, Closet offers a visual celebration as exceptional as its author. As Nataniel looks back on his 30-year career, he takes us into his closet, showing his first self-made costumes, introducing his three designers and sharing close-up details of the most astounding costumes from his shows. Also with photo shoots, magazine and CD covers, Closet is a visual feast, a collector's item and an ode to an exceptional South African artist.
Closet is ’n unieke, luukse visuele viering en versamelstuk. Nataniël kyk oor sy roemryke loopbaan van 30 jaar terug wanneer hy sy aanhangers ’n kykie in sy klerekas gee. Hy wys van sy eerste kostuums, stel sy drie kostuumontwerpers voor, en vertoon sy heel beste kostuums van naderby. Closet, wat ook fotosessies, CD-omslae en katalogusse insluit, is ’n fees vir die oog en ’n ode aan ’n besondere kunstenaar.
With a career spanning over 40 years, Marah Louw is counted among South Africa’s musical and entertainment industry royalty and has a powerful and memorable story to tell. This book is the reader’s front-row ticket to the joys, sadness, triumphs and setbacks that have been part of this legend’s life. Even though she is a celebrity, her story aims to show that stars, no matter how bright, are human too. It also delves into her family secrets and her search for truth.
As one of South Africa’s most iconic entertainers, Marah has had an illustrious career. She performed at the Mandela Concert at London’s Wembley Stadium and she sang at the Newsmaker of the Year Awards, presented to Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk, and in honour of the late Chris Hani. She appeared with Nelson Mandela during his visit to Glasgow in 1993 and sang at George Square and The Royal Concert Hall. In 1994, she sang at the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela and the Freedom Day Celebrations at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
In 2001, Marah produced the successful musical concert Surf, which featured top South African artists including Hugh Masekela. Marah translated the music of The Lion King into Zulu for the Walt Disney Corporation and performed the theme song Circle of Life in Zulu. She was also an Idols judge from 2003 until 2010.
She had a lead role on the SABC2 television soap opera Muvhango and has acted in numerous musicals, stage plays and feature films. She is currently acting in the Mzansi Magic telenovela The Queen.
Wat beteken dit as ’n jong Afrikanerman jou beskryf as “nogals orraait”? Hoe trek jy die gehoor se aandag as die basaarpoeding hulle gemesmeraais het? En waar in die wêreld is die berugte Pomona Spur? In dié piepie-jou-nat-van-die-lag memoire verklap Schalk – en sy soortvan-bestuurder, Erns Grundling – die bisarre en hartroerende dinge wat hy oorgekom het op sy reise regoor die land na oral waar ’n mikrofoon en ’n gehoor hom inwag.
From stand-up comedian, actress, and breakout star of Girls Trip, Tiffany Haddish, comes The Last Black Unicorn, a sidesplitting, hysterical, edgy, and unflinching collection of (extremely) personal essays, as fearless as the author herself.
Growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, Tiffany learned to survive by making people laugh. If she could do that, then her classmates would let her copy their homework, the other foster kids she lived with wouldn’t beat her up, and she might even get a boyfriend. Or at least she could make enough money—as the paid school mascot and in-demand Bar Mitzvah hype woman—to get her hair and nails done, so then she might get a boyfriend. None of that worked (and she’s still single), but it allowed Tiffany to imagine a place for herself where she could do something she loved for a living: comedy.
Tiffany can’t avoid being funny—it’s just who she is, whether she’s plotting shocking, jaw-dropping revenge on an ex-boyfriend or learning how to handle her newfound fame despite still having a broke person’s mind-set. Finally poised to become a household name, she recounts with heart and humor how she came from nothing and nowhere to achieve her dreams by owning, sharing, and using her pain to heal others.
By turns hilarious, filthy, and brutally honest, The Last Black Unicorn shows the world who Tiffany Haddish really is—humble, grateful, down-to-earth, and funny as hell. And now, she’s ready to inspire others through the power of laughter.
Hykie Berg is ’n bekende film- en TV-akteur, geliefd en gewild reg oor Suid-Afrika. Hy is ook 'n verslaafde. Op die kruin van sy suksesloopbaan verloor Hykie alles en draai by die dood om. Hier vertel hy sy verhaal openhartig, van die dwelmhole van Hillbrow tot in 'n maksimum-sekuriteitsel in die Weskoppies-hospitaal, waar God hom van 'n gewisse dood red. Hykie nooi jou uit om te onthou dat God se liefde ook vir jou bedoel is, en dat, al doen ons wat, God ons nie laat gaan nie.
Madame Jenkins couldn't carry a tune in a bucket: despite that, in 1944 at the age of 76, she played Carnegie Hall to a capacity audience and had celebrity fans by the score. Her infamous 1940s recordings are still highly-prized today. In his well-researched and thoroughly entertaining biography, Darryl W. Bullock tells of Florence Foster Jenkins meteoric rise to success and the man who stood beside her, through every sharp note.
Florence was ridiculed for her poor control of timing, pitch, and tone, and terrible pronunciation of foreign lyrics, but the sheer entertainment value of her caterwauling packed out theatres around the United States, with the 'singer' firmly convinced of her own talent, partly thanks to the devoted attention from her husband and manager St Clair Bayfield. Her story is one of triumph in the face of adversity, of courage, conviction and of the belief that with dedication and commitment a true artist can achieve anything.
Now a major Hollywood movie starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, the genius of Florence Foster Jenkins is about to be discovered by a whole new audience.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is the long-awaited memoir from Elvis Costello, one of rock and roll's most iconic stars.
Born Declan Patrick MacManus, Elvis Costello was raised in London and Liverpool, grandson of a trumpet player on the White Star Line and son of a jazz musician who became a successful radio dance band vocalist. Costello went into the family business and had taken the popular music world by storm before he was twenty-four. Costello continues to add to one of the most intriguing and extensive songbooks of the day. His performances have taken him from a cardboard guitar in his front room to fronting a rock and roll band on your television screen and performing in the world's greatest concert halls in a wild variety of company.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink describes how Costello's career has somehow endured for almost four decades through a combination of dumb luck and animal cunning, even managing the occasional absurd episode of pop stardom. This memoir, written with the same inimitable touch as his lyrics, and including dozens of images from his personal archive, offers his unique view of his unlikely and sometimes comical rise to international success, with diversions through the previously undocumented emotional foundations of some of his best known songs and the hits of tomorrow. The book contains many stories and observations about his renowned co-writers and co-conspirators, though Costello also pauses along the way for considerations on the less appealing side of infamy.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is destined to be a classic, idiosyncratic memoir of a singular man.
The #1 New York Times bestselling author returns with this candid, humorous, and captivating memoir chronicling her journey toward reinvention and self-acceptance.
When you've come out the other side of the bizarre, twisted world of the Playboy mansion, where do you land? If you're Holly Madison... there's no place like Las Vegas! After making the sudden decision to reclaim her life, Holly broke free from the sheltered, deceptive confines of the mansion (which meant exiting a hit television show) and was determined to start her life over... from scratch. Without the security of a job or relationship, she set out to reinvent herself on no one's terms but her own. Deciding to roll the dice and begin again in the glamorous and dreamlike city of Las Vegas, Holly quickly realized that while she may have left her past in the rearview mirror, the labels and stereotypes that came from it weren't so quick to leave her. With a fierce commitment to take charge of her own narrative, Holly dives headfirst into a journey of self-discovery.
After a whirlwind stint on Dancing with the Stars, she snags the coveted lead role in the Strip's hottest new burlesque spectacular and lands a reality series spotlighting her new life as a single woman. If her own television show and dream job as a showgirl weren't enough to keep her busy, Holly explores the decadent, exclusive inner-world of Sin City, navigating it's social and dating scene with humor and heart. When it comes to romance, she is met with an eclectic cast of characters, from fame hounds to long distance loves to the occasional celebrity and more than one tabloid mishap. In this reflective, heartwarming memoir, Holly learns that each dating disaster holds an important, and in some cases difficult to face, lesson about herself.
The Vegas Diaries is a comedy of errors, set against the glitz and glamour of the dazzling Vegas strip. Through the wild and crazy experiences on one young woman's quest to "have it all," Holly faces her fears, anxieties, and insecurities to discover that her journey to self-sufficiency is also her path to healing. Letting go of trying to prove herself to others, Holly finally gains the courage to confront her past-and in the process finds the life and love she deserves.
In the spirit of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, and Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist, a powerful collection of essays about gender, sexuality, race, beauty, Hollywood, and what it means to be a modern woman.
One month before the release of the highly anticipated film The Birth of a Nation, actress Gabrielle Union shook the world with a vulnerable and impassioned editorial in which she urged our society to have compassion for victims of sexual violence. In the wake of rape allegations made against director and actor Nate Parker, Union—a forty-four-year-old actress who launched her career with roles in iconic ’90s movies—instantly became the insightful, outspoken actress that Hollywood has been desperately awaiting. With honesty and heartbreaking wisdom, she revealed her own trauma as a victim of sexual assault: "It is for you that I am speaking. This is real. We are real."
In this moving collection of thought provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic, and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support.
Phil Collins gained fame as both the drummer and lead singer for Genesis and continues to enjoy worldwide success today.
He’s one of only three recording artists who have sold over 100 million albums both as solo artists and separately as principal members of a band - the other two being Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. Revered as a drummer, he’s the only performer of distinction to have appeared at both the UK and US original Live Aid concerts, the creator of numerous worldwide hits, and is an Oscar winner for the song ‘You'll Be in My Heart', from the Disney film Tarzan.
Phil Collins' life has also been rich with experience outside of music, starting with his career as a child actor, appearing aged 13 as the Artful Dodger in the stage production of Oliver! through Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Miami Vice and The Band Played On.
In his memoir Phil talks honestly about his three failed marriages, his alcoholism and his ill health but also describes the highs and lows of his career, and what it is like to work with other rock legends from Eric Clapton to Robert Plant.
There are a lot of good things about getting older. When you’re young you want everyone to like you and to make an impression. When you’re old you don’t give a damn.' Kate Turkington is fearless and fun, even now in her 80s. From the war-worn East End of London to raising a young family in a remote part of eastern Nigeria and building a career as one of SA's most loved broadcasters, Kate's story is remarkable and revealing. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You will cheer. You may well be shocked.
"People may say that I couldn't sing. But no one can say that I didn't sing."
Despite lacking pitch, rhythm or tone, Florence Foster Jenkins became one of America's best-known sopranos, celebrated for her unique recordings and her sell-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Born in 1868 to wealthy Pennsylvanian parents, Florence was a talented young pianist but her life was thrown into turmoil when she eloped with Frank Jenkins, a man twice her age. The marriage proved a disaster and, in order to survive, Florence was forced to abandon her dreams of a musical career and teach the piano. Then her father died in 1909 and, newly installed in New York, she used a considerable inheritance to fund her passion. She set up a prestigious amateur music club and began staging operas. Aided by her English common-law husband, St Clair Bayfield, she worked tirelessly to support the city's musical life. Many young singers owed their start to Florence, but she too yearned to perform and began giving regular recitals that quickly attracted a cult following. And yet nothing could prepare the world for the astonishing climax of her career when, at the age of seventy-six, she performed at the most hallowed concert hall in America.
In Florence Foster Jenkins, Jasper Rees tells her extraordinary story, which inspired the film starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, and directed by Stephen Frears. This remarkable book also includes Nicholas Martin's funny, moving and inspirational screenplay.
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