Stand Up Straight and Sing!
By Jessye Norman
(Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, 9780544003408, 336pp.)
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
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Jessye Norman is not only one of the world's most admired and beloved singers, she is an American icon whose life story is as moving and dramatic as the great operatic roles she has performed on stage.
Born and raised in Augusta, Georgia, nurtured in a close family and tight-knit community centered around the church, she studied the piano and sang the songs of her childhood, not dreaming that this passion for music might lead to her life's profession.
In "Stand Up Straight and Sing ," Jessye Norman recalls in rich detail the strong women who were her role models, from her ancestors to family friends, relatives, and teachers. She hails the importance of her parents in her early learning and experiences in the arts. And she describes coming face-to-face with racism, not just as a child living in the segregated South, but also as an adult out and about in the world.
She speaks of the many who have inspired her and taught her essential life lessons. A special interlude on her key relationship with the pioneering African American singer Marian Anderson reveals the lifelong support that this great predecessor provided through her example of dignity and grace at all times.
The story of one woman's astonishing life, "Stand Up Straight And Sing " is not just for lovers of music, but for everyone.
One of the most celebrated voices of her generation talks about her new autobiography, Stand Up Straight and Sing! The opera star journeyed from the segregated South to a divided Berlin and beyond. More at NPR.org
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