Piaf

Margaret Crosland, Author Putnam Publishing Group $16.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-399-13088-5
Two decades after her death, Edith Gassion, the Parisian singer known as Piaf, remains a mystery; even the plaques that mark her places of birth and death are false indicators. Crosland, a British author who has written biographies of Cocteau and Colette, tries to dispel the legends (Piaf's birth on a sidewalk and her miracle cure from blindness, for example), presents the ascertainable facts and conveys the unique quality of her singing. Stating that a catalog of Piaf's songs is infinitely more absorbing than a list of her love affairs, Crosland nevertheless describes her many relationships with men and asserts that Piaf's whole life was a long attempt to assert her tyranny over them. Disappointingly, however, this well-balanced biography does not come alive. Included is an excellent discography of Piaf recordings available in Britain. Photos not seen by PW. October
Reviewed on: 11/01/1985
Release date: 11/01/1985
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-88064-069-5
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