Paul Alexander | Bitter Crop: The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday’s Last Year

Recorded Feb 13, 2024
Direct Download: 20240213-paulale.mp3

In conversation with award-winning journalist and broadcaster, Tracey Matisak

Paul Alexander’s bestselling and acclaimed biographies include portraits of James Dean, Sylvia Plath, John McCain, and J. D. Salinger, the last of which served as the basis of a documentary that appeared on HBO, PBS, and Netflix. Alexander’s nonfiction has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Nation, The Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, as well as numerous literary journals. He is also the author of several stage plays and screenplays. A writing teacher at Hunter College in New York City and a former fellow at the Hoover Institution, he holds memberships at the PEN American Center, the Dramatists Guild, and the Academy of American Poets. In Bitter Crop, the first new biography of Billie Holiday in more than 20 years, Alexander presents a transcendently soaring look at the legendary jazz singer’s last year of life.  

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