Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Feb 1, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 464 pages
21 Reviews
Born Eunice Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina, Nina Simone (1933-2003) began her musical life playing classical piano. A child prodigy, she wanted a career on the concert stage, but when the Curtis Institute of Music rejected her, the devastating disappointment compelled her to change direction. She turned to popular music and jazz but never abandoned her classical roots or her intense ambition. By the age of twenty six, Simone had sung at New York City's venerable Town Hall and was on her way. Tapping into newly unearthed material on Simone's family and career, Nadine Cohodas paints a luminous portrait of the singer, highlighting her tumultuous life, her innovative compositions, and the prodigious talent that matched her ambition.
With precision and empathy, Cohodas weaves the story of Simone's contentious relationship with audiences and critics, her outspoken support for civil rights, her two marriages and her daughter, and, later, the sense of alienation that drove her to live abroad from 1993 until her death. Alongside these threads runs a more troubling one: Simone's increasing outbursts of rage and pain that signaled mental illness and a lifelong struggle to overcome a deep sense of personal injustice.


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Review: Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone

User Review  - P. Leonie - Goodreads

As a fan of Nina Simone, it was difficult to read this book. Clearly, from this and other sources, Ms Simone battled with mental illness. She also has a rich legacy in music and political movements ... Read full review

Review: Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone

User Review  - Bill Gordon - Goodreads

What a sad life this woman had. It did make for moderately interesting reading. Lots of repetitious phrasing through the book made it feel stale as it went along. Read full review


1 Called For and Delivered
2 We Knew She Was a Genius
3 Miss Mazzy
4 We Have Launched Where Shall We Anchor?
5 Prelude to a Fugue
6 The Arrival of Nina Simone
7 Little Girl Blue
18 To Be Young Gifted and Black
19 I Have Become More Militant
20 Definite Vibrations of Pride
21 This Aint No Geraldine Up Here
22 Where My Soul Has Gone
23 I Am Not of This Planet
24 Loving Me Is Not Enough
25 Fodder on Her Wings

8 A Fast Rising Star
9 Simoneized
10 You Cant Let Them Humiliate You
11 Respect
12 Mississippi Goddam
13 Dont Let Me Be Misunderstood
14 My Skin Is Black
15 Images
16 My Only Groove Is Moods
17 Black Gold
26 Ninas BackAgain
27 A Single Woman
28 The Final Curtain
Nina Simone Briefly on CDDVD

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About the author (2012)

Nadine Cohodas is the author of, among other books, Queen: The Life and Music of Dinah Washington.

Bibliographic information