Stand Up Straight and Sing! Prime –

Jessye Norman writes as beautifully and elegantly as she sings Her book kept me captivated as she told the stories of her youth, living under the Jim Crow laws and experiencing that kind of prejudice as an adult, her life and experiences in opera, her awe and enjoyment of many varieties of music Yes, she did use words and phrases like wonderful and I was privileged a lot, but rather than finding fault with it and using it as an excuse for criticism, I appreciated it In a world where so much writing is negative, profane, and slings mud, it was as though I was in the company of someone who is above all of that, and I enjoyed every gracious word she put down on the pages Even in regards to her parents, she was nothing short of glowing and deeply respectful in how she wrote of them in this day and age where so few speak kindly of their parents She carried the same tone in talking about her extended family, as well her grandparents, siblings, uncles and aunts, neighbors, all of them I said for years that I hoped she would write her autobiography, and now that I have read it, I know that it is truly a treasure for those who admire a performer such as she is This is writing by a woman who carries her thoughts and experiences, and describes, far above what we usually find in contact with so many performers today She is truly a gifted, brilliant, and gracious woman I have always treasured her singing, and now I will always treasure this book. A delightful read, write by the lady, herself She sings thru her early childhood right up to her adulthood She s a winner and so is this book. The leap from growing up in the small town American South to becoming the center of attention in all the world s cultural centers should be all anyone would need to be attracted to this story A reader would naturally expect some Cinderella moments to occur in an unfinished life and career that s been so inspiring to so many While there are no wicked step sisters to hold her back or close calls with dreams that threaten to dissipate like crushed pumpkins, this story is not without its magic charms It is a storybook life, for sure But who doesn t like a good story, especially when it s true and a real life piece of evidence that hard work, unfaltering dedication, and a strong heart can take a deserving talent on a journey from anywhere to everywhere I love Jessye Norman What a great dramatic soprano However, this autobiography primarily deals with her spirituality, racism, and segregation in the south These are all serious topics but I was hoping for a musical autobiography Half the book is about religion and her early life I was hoping for. Norman offers a broad and global perspective on life, the arts, and spiritualityInspiring Booklist In Stand Up Straight and Sing , Jessye Norman recalls in rich detail the strong women who were her role models, from her ancestors to family friends, relatives, and teachers She hails the importance of her parents in her early learning and experiences in the arts And she describes coming face to face with racism, not just as a child living in the segregated South but also as an adult out and about in the world She speaks of the many who have inspired her and taught her essential life lessons A special interlude on her key relationship with the pioneering African American singer Marian Anderson reveals the lifelong support that this great predecessor provided through her example of dignity and grace at all times.