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Discussion of “Bitter Crop,” a biography of jazz legend and American cultural icon Billie Holiday

February 20 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


The author discusses and signs his recently released book “Bitter Crop,” a biography of jazz legend and American cultural icon Billie Holiday.

In the first biography of Billie Holiday in more than two decades, Paul Alexander gives us an unconventional portrait of arguably America’s most eminent jazz singer.

Relying on interviews with people who knew her, and new material unearthed in private collections and institutional archives, “Bitter Crop: The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday’s Last Year” — 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.

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 nonfiction has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Newsday, New York, The Guardian, The Nation, The Washington Post and Rolling Stone. He teaches at Hunter College in New York.

Presented with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this programming do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.



February 20
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Princeton Public Library
65 Witherspoon Street
Princeton, NJ 08542 United States
(609) 924-9529
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