American Diva: Extraordinary, Unruly, Fabulous

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Product Details
$27.99  $26.03
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.0 X 1.1 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author
Deborah Paredez is the chair of the Writing Program at Columbia University. The author of Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory and two poetry collections, she lives in New York.
American Diva is a marvel. The divas here all share a virtuosity that demands fierce labor and daring charisma. Divas use their voices and bodies to turn pain into pleasure and defeat into glory. One of Paredez's great themes is that a diva can empower her audience--us--to reach beyond our ordinary selves. Diva ambition is potent and generous. It challenges other artists and defies cultural pieties. Deborah Paredez is the American Diva reborn as scholar, poet, and critic.--Margo Jefferson, author of Constructing a Nervous System
In ten exquisitely crafted chapters, Deborah Paredez shows us how divas as diverse as her aunt Lucia, Rita Moreno, Aretha Franklin, and many others define our limitations and our aspirations as individuals, a nation, and a people--brown, Black, and queer. Too big, bold, beautiful, and messy to be confined within enclosures or by borders, they lead us somewhere outside, to the edge, through the abyss, to that transcendent space where we might experience something akin to freedom. Here is a book as ambitious, original, and beautiful as its subject.--Farah Jasmine Griffin, author of Read Until You Understand
Equal parts memoir, cultural criticism, and music history, Deborah Paredez's eloquent and thought-provoking exploration of divadom radiates with the passion, color, and magnetism of the divas she adores.--Holly George-Warren, author of Janis: Her Life and Music
Is it possible to breathe life into the slack mouth of a term that's been both overused and misunderstood nearly since it became common two hundred years ago? Deborah Paredez proves it is. As Paredez expands the diva definition, she presents a new vision of American culture that is, in true diva fashion, multifaceted and brazenly alive.--Ann Powers, author of Traveling: On the Path of Joni Mitchell
A poet's tribute to divas...A close, personal, well-informed examination of powerful women and their artistic work.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
With American Diva, [Paredez] has put together an insightful ode to the famous women...who have come to embody the often misconstrued term.--Shannon Carlin "Time"
Paredez weaves historical accounts of these bold women into a thrilling cultural memoir....By the book's end, Paredez's thesis becomes entirely persuasive: The word "diva" is best used not for an opera virtuoso, but for any bold person whose work nourishes people who are too often starved of power.--Brandon Tensley "Smithsonian Magazine"
Part memoir and part diva cultural history, Deborah Paredez's latest book blew me away.--Karla J. Strand "Ms. Magazine"