Bloomsbury is extremely proud to announce the twelfth of fourteen new 33 1/3 volumes…coming to a bookstore (and kindle/iPad) near you in: Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016 and Fall 2016. It was extremely difficult to select these titles from a pool of over 400 brilliant proposals so we hope you enjoy! To highlight each new title and the author behind it, we’ll announce one book each day over the next two weeks.
Donny Hathaway Live – Donny Hathaway
By Emily Lordi
Coming Fall 2016!
In January of 1979, the great soul artist Donny Hathaway fell fifteen stories from a window of Manhattan’s Essex House Hotel in an alleged suicide. He was thirty-three years old and everyone he worked with called him a genius. Best known for “A Song for You,” “This Christmas,” and classic duets with Roberta Flack, Hathaway was a composer, pianist, and singer committed to exploring “music in its totality.” His velvet melisma and vibrant sincerity set him apart from the hyper-masculine soul men of his day, while influencing generations of singers to come and earning him devoted fans whose love affair with Hathaway continues to this day.
Using original interviews, archival material, and poetry, this book tells the story of the brutally honest, daringly gorgeous music Hathaway created as he raced the clock of paranoid schizophrenia—especially in the performances captured on his 1972 album Donny Hathaway Live. The album stands as a testament to Hathaway’s uncanny ability to amplify the power and beauty of his songs in the moment of live performance. This book is about that album and about a broader phenomenon: Hathaway’s ability to generate a spiritual experience for those present at his shows, and for those with the privilege to listen in now.
A bit about the author: Emily Lordi is an assistant professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the author of Black Resonance: Iconic Women Singers and African American Literature (Rutgers UP, 2013). Her music reviews appear on New Black Man, The Feminist Wire, The New Inquiry, and The Root. In addition to her 33⅓ book on Donny Hathaway, she is writing a book on the musical and literary aesthetics of “soul.”