San Antonio Book Festival - Paul Alexander
Michael Lionstar
Book Festival Author

Paul Alexander

Paul Alexander has published eight books, among them Rough Magic, a biography of Sylvia Plath, and Salinger, a biography of J. D. Salinger that was the basis of a documentary that appeared on American Masters on PBS, Netflix, and HBO. His journalism and commentary have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers, among them New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Newsday, New York, Guardian, Nation, Washington Post, and Rolling Stone. He teaches at Hunter College. His latest work is Bitter Crop: The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday’s Last Year.

More About Paul Alexander

Schedule Of Events:

Book by Paul Alexander

  • Bitter Crop: The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday's Last Year by Paul Alexander

    Bitter Crop: The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday's Last Year

    In the first biography of Billie Holiday in more than two decades, Paul Alexander—author of heralded lives of Sylvia Plath and J. D. Salinger—gives us an unconventional portrait of arguably America’s most eminent jazz singer. He shrewdly focuses on the last year of her life—with relevant flashbacks to provide context—to evoke and examine the persistent magnificence of Holiday’s artistry when it was supposed to have declined, in the wake of her drug abuse, relationships with violent men, and run-ins with the law.

    During her lifetime and after her death, Billie Holiday was often depicted as a down-on-her-luck junkie severely lacking in self-esteem. Relying on interviews with people who knew her, and new material unearthed in private collections and institutional archives, "Bitter Crop"—a reference to the last two words of "Strange Fruit", her moving song about lynching—limns Holiday as a powerful, ambitious woman who overcame her flaws to triumph as a vital figure of American popular music.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Get the latest updates delivered straight to your inbox.
© 2024 The San Antonio Book Festival. All Rights Reserved.
San Antonio Website Design & Development - Backyard Studios