The Ballad of Bob Dylan
By Daniel Mark Epstein
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061807336, 528pp.)
Publication Date: May 2012
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Through the lens of four seminal concerts, acclaimed poet and biographer Daniel Mark Epstein offers an intimate, vivid, and comprehensive portrait of Bob Dylan. Beginning in 1963, Epstein revisits Dylan's early struggles to find artistic direction; his transition from folk icon to rock star; and his secluded family life and divorce. A breathtaking account of Dylan's Never Ending Tour and his contemporary studio sessions brings us full circle, revealing how Dylan revived a flagging career and accepted his role as the Éminence grise of rock and roll today.
Drawing on new interviews with those closest to Dylanincluding Maria Muldaur, Nora Guthrie, and Ramblin' Jack ElliottThe Ballad of Bob Dylan is a singular take on an artist who has transformed generations and continues to inspire and surprise today.
Daniel Mark Epstein has written more than fifteen books of poetry, biography, and history, including the award-winning Lincoln and Whitman and The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage, named one of the top ten books of the year by the Wall Street Journal and Chicago Sun-Times.
“What sets Epstein’s book apart is its accessibility. . . . Epstein is refreshingly direct and approachable, and while the author, also a folk musician, makes much of his extensive quotes from Dylan’s lyrics, it is his own clear, emotional enthusiasm that carries the tale.”
-Rob Fitzpatrick, Sunday Times (London)
“If you like Keith Richards’ Life, then read The Ballad of Bob Dylan. Just in time for the musician’s 70th birthday, Daniel Mark Epstein’s biography offers a vivid portrait of the visionary artist.”
“Offers a portrait that explodes the semi-hostile cliché of much unauthorized biography. New interviews and photographs add depth to an account distinguished by a fine sensitivity to all aspects of Dylan’s art, from the personal to the music’s history.”
-Tim Martin, Telegraph (London)
“Brilliant—that Daniel Mark Epstein is both a poet and a biographer stands him in good stead in this penetrating, compassionate (but utterly clear-eyed), beautifully written portrait of Bob Dylan as an artist and a man. Among the very best writing about Dylan, ever.”
-James Kaplan, author of Frank: The Voice
“In The Ballad of Bob Dylan, Daniel Mark Epstein does what few have been able to do at all, much less this well: capture that spirit, and in so doing, somehow manage to get closer to the essence of an American icon.”
-Dave Moyer, New York Journal of Books