Friday, January 18, 2008

New for me in 2008

Haunted Heart is available in paperback in spring of 2008 - save money!
A humongous publication called the "African American National Biography"
is also coming out - Oxford U. Press. I contributed the bit about Dorothy Donegan, a wildly talented (wild IS the word) pianist who veered from dazzling
technique to slapstick - this is my opinion. She could play a whole lotta notes up there in shooting range of Mr. Tatum, but...
I'm working away - for once, fairly confidently - on a novel. It's called After Leaving America and is set in the early 1970's in Mexico. My how things have changed since the pre-internet, pre-cell phone et al., days.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Movies about singers

Well, a movie about a great and greatly troubled singer, that is - Edith Piaf.
Marian Cotillard absolutely inhabits the part in "La Vie en Rose." I was
gripped by this biopic and I can't help but hope that some visionary filmmaker
will take it upon him or herself to create a movie about Susannah McCorkle
in the same spirit, and with the same level of talent. WHO COULD PLAY
SUSANNAH? Meryl Streep is a bit too old - except not for the last, tortured
years, perhaps. Oh I know - that actress in "Girl with the Pearl Earring," as the
young Susannah - Scarlett Johannsen. Or maybe Uma Thurman, who radiates
more intelligence. Oh, I don't know...But a movie should be made - all the elements are there!

Interview on KCSM, San Mateo

I'm looking forward to sitting down with Alisa Clancy on the show "A Morning
Cup of Jazz," in San Mateo, California on August 7th. Susannah McCorkle was born
and educated nearby, in Berkeley, her mother and father grew up there. She had
a bittersweet relationship with her native soil. I hope some of her devoted listeners will tune in - and some new ones.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Anything goes radio!

I loved sitting with host Lise Avery and talking about Susannah
and the music for her terrific radio show, "Anything Goes." Lise tells
me people loved the show and the phones lit up like crazy for the book

Monday, February 12, 2007

A recent book talk and signing at a New York lunch club resulted in more books
sold than at any other event they'd held in a long time.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Haunted Heart: A Biography of Susannah McCorkle

Visitors to this site are now able to pre-order a copy of Haunted Heart at a substantial discount -- more than 10 dollars off the retail price -- directly from If you're interested in purchasing the music of Susannah McCorkle, please check out the links to the right of this page.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

About the book

The secret life and tragic death of a great American songbird

Susannah McCorkle was a combination of Dorothy Parker and Doris Day, Sylvia Plath and Sylvia Sims, a fascinating blend of toughness and innocence, chiseled wit and girlish wonder," who began her music career as a disciple of Billie Holiday.Image of Haunted Heart cover
Ultimately McCorkle went on to develop a carefully crafted style of her own, performing in New York's famed Algonquin Hotel and in venues around the world.
Yet at the same time, although few of those close to her were aware of this, she struggled with bipolar disorder. Finally, in 2001, unable to overcome her crippling bouts of depression, McCorkle threw herself from the window of her apartment in New York City. Most of those in the overflow crowd at her memorial service were in shock, for McCorkle was as convincing a performer
at hiding her despair as she was at singing.
Haunted Heart follows two stories: the downward curve of McCorkle's emotional life as she descended into her illness and the upward arc of her singing career as it lurched uncertainly toward success.
Just as important and fascinating is the light Dahl sheds on the musicians and writers of the '70s, '80s, and '90s who created and informed public perceptions about the music of the jazz and cabaret world. By turns glamorous and brutal, this demimonde fed both the talents and insecurities of those who called it their home.