Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Portrait of Genius

What Happened, Miss Simone: A Biography – Alan Light (Crown Archetype)

Inspired by…a companion to…the acclaimed Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone, author and veteran music journalist Alan Light has penned a dynamic, and engaging biography of legendary singer and activist Nina Simone.

As is his history, Light plowed into a veritable treasure trove of archival material to build the compelling portrait of a complex artist and a challenging figure who was at the cutting edge of a nascent civil rights movement.

Light captures not only the artistic spirit of Nina Simone, but also her troubling history that was as much responsible for shaping her life as was her eclectic artistry. It almost seems unfortunate that the battle she waged with her internal demons and external forces may have caused her musical brilliance to be overshadowed.

Light balances an even handed approach to the writing while keeping things focused on the subject at hand and ends up leaving the reader with a clearer picture of the misunderstood genius that was Nina Simone.

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