10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Well Rounded Review,
This review is from: Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn (Paperback)
Hajdu really does a nice job of summarizing the life of a songwriter. He keeps his story moving with pacing, characters, travel, and yes, even drama! Racial prejudice, sexual prejudice, loneliness and alcoholism did nothing to stop this little man from Pittsburgh who knew he was destined to a "lush life" and wrote about it in his fantasies, such as the title song begun at age 19 in Pittsburgh.
He grew up poor, effeminate, and misunderstood; but he loved the theater, and he knew where he belonged. Off to New York where his awesome talent so impressed Duke Ellington that he was immediately hired into the organization, where he would thrive and struggle and live and write for the rest of his life. He died of cancer, after penning and arranging much of Ellington's later work.
The book tells his story with panache that would make him proud!