> Skip to content
  • Published: 3 December 2018
  • ISBN: 9780241351291
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $26.00

Lady Sings the Blues




The bluesy, gutsy, no-holds-barred memoir of jazz legend Billie Holiday

"I've been told that no one sings the word 'hunger' like I do. Or the word 'love'."

Lady Sings the Blues is the inimitable autobiography of one of the greatest icons of the twentieth century. Born to a single mother in 1915 Baltimore, Billie Holiday had her first run-in with the law at aged 13. But Billie Holiday is no victim. Her memoir tells the story of her life spent in jazz, smoky Harlem clubs and packed-out concert halls, her love affairs, her wildly creative friends, her struggles with addiction and her adventures in love. Billie Holiday is a wise and aphoristic guide to the story of her unforgettable life.

  • Published: 3 December 2018
  • ISBN: 9780241351291
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $26.00

Also by Billie Holiday

See all

Praise for Lady Sings the Blues

Its value is in its witness to the grinding humiliation of the racism that tainted every moment of her louche life

John Lahr, London Review of Books

A wrenchingly authentic account of Holiday's turbulent trajectory from abused child to jazz genius

Jane Shilling, Daily Mail

Her troubles are long behind her now. Her genius however, shows no sign of dimming any time soon.

Nick Hornby, Sunday Times

A searing account of her life as a brilliant artist, a heroin addict, simultaneously worshipped as a siren of sorrow and persecuted by a legal system structured by systemic racism. Booze runs like a glimmering ribbon through these pages - she even makes moonshine from potato peelings while incarcerated - but Holiday emerges as a figure far more nuanced and human than her mythic image.

Guardian, Leslie Jamison

Related titles