Bessie Smith Book

Bessie Smith Book

Regular price £9.99 Sale price £8.99
/
Tax included.

Bessie Smith: singer, icon, pioneer.

Scotland's National Poet Jackie Kay brings to life the tempestuous story of the greatest blues singer who ever lived.

'A wonderful writer on a magnificent singer.' ROBERT WYATT

'The most vivid evocation of Bessie Smith I have ever read.' IAN CARR, BBC MUSIC

'Biographies don't usually bring the subject to life again. This one did. I finished the book then started it again immediately.' PEGGY SEEGER

'What a life! What gulpable storytelling! Exactly the kind of writing about music we need: personal, ardent, playfully confrontational, questioning, undogmatic. A love song to a complicated idol' KATE MOLLESON

'Pure joy: one trailblazing woman pays tribute to another. Jackie Kay finds the music in the short, dazzling, capricious life of Bessie Smith.' HELEN LEWIS

'Kay's book is the amplifier that Smith's voice deserves.' SUNDAY TIMES

BESSIE SMITH was born in Tennessee in 1894. Orphaned by the age of nine, she sang on street corners before becoming a big name in travelling shows. In 1923 she made her first recording for a new start-up called Columbia Records. It sold 780,000 copies and made her a star. Smith's life was notoriously difficult: she drank pints of 'bathtub gin', got into violent fist fights, spent huge sums of money and had passionate love affairs with men and women. She once single-handedly fought off a cohort of the Ku Klux Klan.

As a young black girl growing up in Glasgow, Jackie Kay found in Bessie someone with whom she could identify and who she could idolise. In this remarkable book Kay mixes biography, fiction, poetry and prose to create an enthralling account of an extraordinary life. 

Author Jackie Kay
Format Paperback
Pages 224
ISBN 9780571362929

Need to be discreet? No problem! Everything is sent out in plain packaging.

Deliveries in the UK seem to be pretty much back to normal since the 20th May 2021. We only send things first class and 99% are arriving in 1 - 2 working days.

International orders are still taking longer, due to different country lockdowns, the increase in online shopping and the reduction of flights carrying cargo and deliveries around the world. You should expect international orders to take longer than normal, although many are arriving on time. Some international orders take 2 weeks, some take 2 months. That's just the way of the world at the moment.

We use Royal Mail for deliveries with a tracking barcode. Once an item is with Royal Mail, we're not able to track it until it's been delivered/signed for. 

We can not be held responsible if your order does not arrive for a certain date.

Find out more about deliveries in the UK here.

Find out more about deliveries to the EU here.

Find out more about deliveries to the rest of the world (non-EU) here.