No Regrets

No Regrets

The Life of Edith Piaf

Book - 2011
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The iconic French singer comes to life in this enthralling, definitive biography, which captures Edith Piaf's immense charisma along with the time and place that gave rise to her unprecedented international career.

Raised by turns in a brothel, a circus caravan, and a working-class Paris neighborhood, Piaf began singing on the city's streets, where she was discovered by a Champs-Elysées cabaret owner. She became a star almost overnight, seducing Paris's elite and the people of its slums in equal measure with her powerful, passionate voice. No Regrets explores her rise to fame and notoriety, her tumultuous love affairs, and her struggles with drugs, alcohol, and illness, while also drawing on new sources to enhance our knowledge of little-known aspects of her life. Piaf was an unlikely student of poetry and philosophy, who aided Resistance efforts in World War II, wrote the lyrics for nearly one hundred songs (including "La Vie en rose") and was a crucial mentor to younger singers (including Yves Montand and Charles Aznavour) who absorbed her love of chanson and her exacting approach to their métier.

Here is Piaf in her own world--Paris in the first half of the twentieth century--and in ours. Burke demonstrates how, with her courage, her incomparable art, and her universal appeal, "the little sparrow" endures as a symbol of France and a source of inspiration to entertainers worldwide.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011
ISBN: 9780307268013
Characteristics: xvii, 282 p. : ill

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carolannbagan
Jun 21, 2012

very cool book. the little sparrow died far too soon.

adagarcon Mar 04, 2012

Je pense que c'est tres interessant. Tragically! One of those rare books that comes to an end leaving you with feelings of melancholia. Those enamored with the Dahan's Hollywood "Lie Vie En Rose" will find much more substantial material in Burke's book. Edith's romantic-and often altruistic lifestyle with climatic highs and lows should resonate with the least sensitive reader. A talent gone before her time, but cherished forever. I guess it had to end after all..."

m
michael12
Jul 07, 2011

Not the best-written biography I have ever read. The author relies too much on "Edith sang this song at this concert, and here is how it mirrored her life at the time." Not that this wasn't true, but this approach is repeated over and over again making the book seem repetitious.

But, notwithstanding the author's limitations as a storyteller, what a life!

debwalker May 09, 2011

Live hard, work hard, die young

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