Billie Holiday's troubled life colored every phrase she sang, and she brought her listeners to moments of joy that soothed the worst heartache. No matter how lousy a hand life deals you, one song from Billie reminds you that she had it worse and still, somehow, remained beautiful. The woman whose sou
In July of 1883, an average middle-class Jewish family in an average suburb of Prague (then in Austria) ushered into the average world a new creature: Franz Kafka. He would never forgive them for this unnatural act of torture.
Franz kept his neurosis quietly to himself throughout his childhood, r
Viewing the human condition as a "confused impurity," Pablo Neruda wrote what he called "impure poetry." His childhood in remote Temuco, Chile, was spent voraciously reading Spanish and French literature. The boy "hunted poems" in the mountains and forests nearby, and published several pieces in Te
Whether the pond she's skating across is folk, pop-rock, or jazz, Joni Mitchell attacks song with an unfailing ear for off-kilter melody and poetically sparked lyrics. Her thirty-plus years as a musician have seen her experiment with many styles and join forces with players from Neil Young to Charles