My Lord, What a Morning ; An Autobiography by Marian Anderson
New York : The Viking Press, 1956. Signed by Marian Anderson. First edition. Hardcover. 312 pages ; b/w photographs ; 23 cm. $5.00 dust jacket with a bit of water damage to it. Cigarette odor within the pages. Lean to spine. A good copy; no underlines or markings within the pages. Satisfaction guaranteed!
My Lord, What a Morning AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY BY MARIAN ANDERSON
Marian Anderson's account of her life is something like her well-known voice— effortless, inspiring, and deeply moving. Like the voice, too, the book expresses its author's warm and reverent approach to living and to music. Miss Anderson's glorious contralto is one of the few great instruments of song
within modern memory —Toscanini has said that a voice like hers happens only once in a hundred years.
Though she began singing as a mere child, in her church in Philadelphia, she came only slowly to know that she had this gift, as she loved to sing more than anything else. During her girlhood, she began to be in demand in other churches, and the small fees she earned were more important than "the voice," for these enabled her to help her widowed mother and family. But the encouragement of others gradually made it plain that a career might be possible if she had the will to work and the fortitude to face the obstacles of the concert world. Years of arduous study followed, punctuated by many small singing engagements to earn money. Once she ventured too far ahead, making a premature debut in New York's Town Hall that was a critical fiasco. Characteristically, however, she returned, chastened, to the effort, and with an acute new awareness of what she must learn.
Years later it was in Europe that the voice and art of Marian Anderson were first recognized. On the news of this success, her own country stopped to listen, and from that time on her tours have taken her to every corner of the United States, to Mexico, South America, Europe, Russia, the Orient. Behind these public facts is the story in this book, of a woman who took the most various turns of fate in her long uphill climb. There is the grim humor of her first concert in New York after the European accolade, for which Miss Anderson literally broke a leg. There is the side of her life that few people know, the happy marriage and home in Connecticut. There are intimate glimpses of her problems with clothes and travel, of her accompanists, her managers, her favorite songs. Particularly moving is her philosophic patience toward race prejudice, which she has endured with sadness rather than anger, rising above the heat of the moment to more important things — like singing. The inescapable appeal of the book is in its unconscious portrayal of a Great Lady of two worlds, the world of music and the world of plain living. Part of the story has been serialized in the Woman's Home Companion.
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