Heat Wave: The Life and Career of Ethel Waters

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9780061241741: Heat Wave: The Life and Career of Ethel Waters

“Mr. Bogle continues to be our most noted black-cinema historian.”
—Spike Lee

“Donald Bogle [is a] pioneering safe-keeper of the history of blacks in film.”
Vogue

From Donald Bogle, author of the bestselling Dorothy Dandridge and Toms, Coons, Mulattos, Mammies, and Bucks, a groundbreaking history of African American portrayals in Hollywood, comes the long-awaited, definitive biography of one of America’s brightest and most troubled theatrical stars: actress and singer Ethel Waters. In Heat Wave, Bogle explores Waters’ relationships with other performing greats, including Lena Horne, Count Basie, Vincent Minnelli, and many others, and paints a vivid, deeply human portrait of this legendary performer—a must-read for any fan of jazz, blues, and classic American cinema.

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From the Back Cover:

No other star of the twentieth century reimagined herself with such audacity and durable talent as did Ethel Waters. In this enlightening and engaging biography, Donald Bogle resurrects this astonishing woman from the annals of history, shedding new light on the tumultuous twists and turns of her seven decade career in music, on Broadway, in Hollywood, and beyond.

Bogle traces Waters's life from her poverty-stricken childhood to her triumphant rise in show business, detailing her successes with recordings like "Stormy Weather" and "Am I Blue?"; her notorious feuds with stars like Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, and Lena Horne; her professional relationships with Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and other entertainment legends; and her various, tempestuous love affairs. In addition, Bogle explores Waters's ongoing racial battles and growing paranoia, and the significance her highly publicized life had upon audiences unaccustomed to the travails of a larger-than-life African American woman.

Wonderfully atmospheric, richly detailed, and drawn from an array of candid interviews, Heat Wave vividly brings to life a major cultural figure of the twentieth century—a charismatic, complex, and compelling woman, both tragic and triumphant.

About the Author:

Donald Bogle is one of the country's leading authorities on African Americans in Hollywood. He is the author of the groundbreaking Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films; the acclaimed biography Dorothy Dandridge; and Brown Sugar: Over 100 Years of America's Black Female Superstars. He teaches at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and at the University of Pennsylvania.

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