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Diamond in the Rough: A Memoir Hardcover – June 5, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780061759598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061759598
  • ASIN: 0061759597
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“[Colvin is] a gifted conversational writer with a wicked and unabashedly goofy sense of humor ... Her buoyant spirit fairly leaps off the stage, and her self-deprecating wit is as keen and quirky in recalling her brief brush with superstardom as it is applied to an ill-fated relationship.” (USA Today)

“Colvin’s fans will devour her behind-the-scenes stories; single mothers will relate to her struggle to do right by her child. And those who have suffered depression -- or loved someone who has -- will find much to inspire in this compelling redemption story.” (People)

“Charming . . . Colvin chronicles an impressive array of accompanists and backup, two husbands, and myriad awards such as her gold record with the 1997 hit “Sunny Came Home,” all while maintaining a low-key, sweet humility that is truly endearing.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Dspite the many personal disasters that have beset Colvin, DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is no misery-fest. It’s with an impressive absence of self-pity and a dry, unassuming style that she teases humour out of the most unpalatable episodes . . . Absorbing.” (The Independent on Sunday)

“Engaging . . . .The many admirers of Colvin’s music will appreciate this honest memoir.” (Booklist)

About the Author

Shawn Colvin is a singer-songwriter and musician. She began performing in bands in the late 1970s, and after years of polishing her skills in Austin, Texas, and the New York folk scene, Colvin released her debut album Steady On in 1989, earning a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Her breakthrough success was the album A Few Small Repairs in 1996, featuring the song "Sunny Came Home," a top-ten hit that won Grammys for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Colvin has released ten albums, won three Grammy Awards, and been nominated for seven others.


More About the Author

Shawn Colvin is a singer-songwriter and musician. She began performing in bands in the late 1970s, and after years of honing her skills in Austin, Texas, and the New York folk scene Colvin released her debut album Steady On in 1989, earning a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Her breakthrough success was the album A Few Small Repairs in 1996, featuring the song Sunny Came Home, a top-ten hit which won Grammys for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Colvin has released ten albums, won three Grammy Awards and been nominated for seven others.

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Customer Reviews

It 's a very honest, unsparing, touching memoir.
busymama
I truly felt like I was reading the story of a friend, and at the end, felt that I knew that friend better, and admired her even more.
Matt Cole
This is a highly recommended memoir, regardless if you're a huge fan, or just looking for a good read.
Catherine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Tom on June 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Diamond in the Rough is singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin's very readable memoir of her life and career. Shawn does a wonderful job describing her rise from a high-school, guitar-strumming folkie to performing with bar bands, to receiving Grammy awards. But it wasn't always a pleasant journey for Colvin who candidly details her addictions, depression, anxiety, and failed relationships. But readers will commend her honesty and forthrightness. She's clearly one of those tortured artists who mines her fragile psyche for inspiration. Her willingness to document her ongoing battles with mental illness will surely be of help to others.

Shawn Colvin first came to my attention in 1990 while I was watching an MTV (or was it VH1?) special on Suzanne Vega and girl folkies. I purchased "Steady On," an absolutely remarkable debut record which won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 1991. I later caught Shawn in concert at a cozy little tavern in Toronto in the winter of 1992 performing songs from her very good follow-up album, Fat City. Shawn hit the big time when she won Grammys for Song of the Year and Record of the Year for "Sunny Came Home" from her 1996 A Few Small Repairs album. While she hasn't had a comparable commercial success since then (you won't find Shawn's style of music on the radio any longer) she continues on as a remarkable artist, delighting her fans with a new record about every five or six years.

Colvin followers will definitely enjoy this short but informative and sometimes brutally honest auto-biography.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By busymama on June 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been listening to Shawn Colvin since my guitar teacher gave me a copy of her live tape when I was in 7th grade. Too young to be out at shows, I absorbed every song within the confines of my room or my walkman earphones. So there has always been something intimate about her music for me.
I usually don't read autobiography, but I finished the book in two evenings and I'm sad it's over. It 's a very honest, unsparing, touching memoir. I found myself identifying with so much, the way you do with any of her songs. And then she's so funny; I laughed out loud. You get the sense that she's really putting herself out there. As an anonymous fan, I feel like we almost don't deserve to be let in quite so completely. Yet it certainly gave me something of value to read this.
I'm sending copies to friends.
And for the record, I thought Brand New You was brilliant.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By widereceiver on June 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone who has marvelled at the trajectory of Shawn Colvin's career as songwriter, singer and guitarist will be unsurprised to find she has the same turn of phrase and timing in her writing.
An added bonus which wouldn't appear so readily in her records is her charming self-deprecation. My only quibble with the book is its brevity, but it is a most engaging read, to be devoured in a sitting.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marc J. Monte on December 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In '89, the Arts Editor of the student newspaper at Brooklyn College handed me a reviewer's cassette with a press packet and said "you like Suzanne Vega....maybe give me a few words about this." The cassette was "Steady On" and I was hooked from that day on. I've rarely fallen in love with an artist so quickly out of the gate, but this was absolutely that one in a million debut. I've seen her in big venues (i.e. - Carnegie Hall) and in some relatively small ones (i.e. - The Bottom Line [RIP]). I waited impatiently for her sophomore effort and nearly gave up hope between "Cover Girl" and "A Few Small Repairs". I've followed the updates on her work and life wherever I could but like so many others, have had to divine the facts from her lyrics. I've had a million and one theories about her songs and her inspirations (I'm still convinced that Thomas Wolfe factors into "Cry Like an Angel" even though I've read nothing to support this). For those who have loved her work even longer than myself, I'm sure this was a treasured arrival.

To the extent that Shawn's work needs to be deciphered, "Diamond in the Rough" is the Rosetta Stone. It fills in blanks; it confirms suspicions; it debunks myths. It is the book I've been waiting to read since 1989 (at least as much as Pete Townsend's memoir was the book I've been waiting to read since I was 8 years old) and, generally, does not disappoint. To the true fan, it is a gracious reward for the wait. It is at turns gritty and lyrical, and paints a dynamic portrait of the artist as a neurotic vagabond with the strongest (if not most visible) of ties to kith and kin. It is a cautionary tale of success ensnared within a jungle of personal demons and crises of trust - both of self and others.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kim Hunt on August 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have been a huge fan of Shawn Colvin so I am a bit biased. I just really enjoyed reading her memoir. I find her so authentic and funny. I could hear her voice in my head as I read each chapter. I love her writing style and felt sad when I finished the book and had to put it down. I appreciated her observations of others and felt compassion for her struggles. Shawn struggles but I admire her tenacity. She just doesn't have time or space in life for negative people and incompetent medical professionals. She was spot on about those personality types and was not bullied by them if they were not helpful or dismissive.

I've been attending her concerts for years and everytime she sings a song with such emotion and clarity that I am always touched and tearful. No artist has had this affect on me. Her lyrics are so heartfelt and passionate. Shawn doesn't grasp how special she is. She is such a gifted songwriter and musician.

She discusses her addictions but I understood that she was only self-medicating. She was finding a way to deal with some seriously delibilitating issues. I believe there are certain people who are hyper-sensitive to the world and Shawn is one of these souls. She is affected. She's not numb. She cares.

So, she touched me and had me laughing so hard I was crying. Not many books can do that;)

Do yourself a favor and read the book.
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