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I'll Never Write My Memoirs
Cover of I'll Never Write My Memoirs
I'll Never Write My Memoirs
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Legendary influential performer Grace Jones offers a revealing account of her spectacular career and turbulent life, charting the development of a persona that has made her one of the world's most recognizable artists.
As a singer, model, and actress—a deluxe triple threat—Grace has consistently been an extreme, challenging presence in the entertainment world since her emergence as an international model in the 1970s. Celebrated for her audacious talent and trailblazing style, Grace became one of the most unforgettable, free-spirited characters to emerge from the historic Studio 54, recording glittering disco classics such as "I Need a Man" and "La Vie en Rose." Her provocative shows in underground New York nightclubs saw her hailed as a disco queen, gay icon, and gender defying iconoclast.

In 1980, the always ambitious Grace escaped a crowded disco scene to pursue more experimental interests. Her music also broke free, blending house, reggae, and electronica into a timeless hybrid that led to classic hits such as "Pull Up to the Bumper" and "Slave to the Rhythm." In the memoir she once promised never to write, Grace offers an intimate insight into her evolving style, personal philosophies, and varied career—including her roles in the 1984 fantasy-action film Conan the Destroyer alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and the James Bond movie A View to a Kill.

Featuring sixteen pages of stunning full-color photographs, many from her own personal archive, I'll Never Write My Memoirs follows this ageless creative nomad as she rejects her strict religious upbringing in Jamaica; conquers New York, Paris, and the 1980s; answers to no-one; and lives to fight again and again.
Legendary influential performer Grace Jones offers a revealing account of her spectacular career and turbulent life, charting the development of a persona that has made her one of the world's most recognizable artists.
As a singer, model, and actress—a deluxe triple threat—Grace has consistently been an extreme, challenging presence in the entertainment world since her emergence as an international model in the 1970s. Celebrated for her audacious talent and trailblazing style, Grace became one of the most unforgettable, free-spirited characters to emerge from the historic Studio 54, recording glittering disco classics such as "I Need a Man" and "La Vie en Rose." Her provocative shows in underground New York nightclubs saw her hailed as a disco queen, gay icon, and gender defying iconoclast.

In 1980, the always ambitious Grace escaped a crowded disco scene to pursue more experimental interests. Her music also broke free, blending house, reggae, and electronica into a timeless hybrid that led to classic hits such as "Pull Up to the Bumper" and "Slave to the Rhythm." In the memoir she once promised never to write, Grace offers an intimate insight into her evolving style, personal philosophies, and varied career—including her roles in the 1984 fantasy-action film Conan the Destroyer alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and the James Bond movie A View to a Kill.

Featuring sixteen pages of stunning full-color photographs, many from her own personal archive, I'll Never Write My Memoirs follows this ageless creative nomad as she rejects her strict religious upbringing in Jamaica; conquers New York, Paris, and the 1980s; answers to no-one; and lives to fight again and again.
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About the Author-
  • Performer, actress, and musician Grace Jones has been making a name for herself since she left Jamaica as a twelve-year-old in the 1960s. First finding fame as a fashion model in the early 1970s, then as a sensational disco queen during the Studio 54 years, she is as much surrealist as showgirl, as much performance artist as party animal. She has been Bond villain and Warhol confidante, post-modern icon and avant-garde pop star. I'll Never Write My Memoirs is her first book.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 31, 2015
    Jones's outrageous influence endures to the present day, so it is disappointing that her memoir, promising blood and thunder, instead turns into a litany of experiences, lacking the spark that would keep the reader interested. Jones was a 1970s runway model turned disco recording star, whose classics include the lasting "La Vie en Rose." She narrates her journey beginning with a painful childhood in Jamaica, where she was regularly beaten, and her rejection of how religion was practiced there. She writes that she felt "nothing" upon leaving Jamaica for America. Later she embraced her native country, letting Jamaica into her music. Jones plods from event to event, recounting bare facts of her life that could be easily found elsewhere. She gets more personal when talking about her love of hats and hoods, and in her discussion of her theatrical performances, channeling her androgynous persona into finding "a different way to be black, lesbian, male, female, animal." At the end, she is alone, but writes that she is not lonely. After a duet performance with Pavarotti, she feels afraid of being abandoned. She is disappointed with the singers who came after her because they don't stay true to themselves. And she writes about the sex, drink, drugs, and arrests that may come with fame. But all these anecdotes are unfortunately detached from emotion and insight.

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2015
    Iconoclastic model, singer, and actress Jones reflects on a highflying life of celebrity exuberance. Born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, Jones (b. 1948) entered a world that was drastically different than the image of glitterati elegance with which she would later become synonymous. Raised in a strict Pentecostal home, Jones remarks, "there was an Islamic level of intolerance, an Amish severity." It was the constriction of her upbringing that created a sense of rebellion in the author that would define her personality and professional life. For Jones, rebelling was less an act of asserting independence than an exertion of "one of the few pleasures I could find for myself." It wasn't until Jones joined her parents in America that she began to define her rebellious nature and reinvent herself as Grace (previously, she went by her middle name, Beverly). Striking out on her own, Jones settled in Philadelphia, where she struggled as an aspiring actress, before moving to New York to pursue modeling full-time. In New York and Paris, the author began to cultivate her signature image of androgynous austerity. She also began frequenting New York's pre-disco club scene that she helped forge and later solidify as a Studio 54 regular. Having struggled to break out as a traditional singer, Jones' turn to pop was less about vocal talent than about her "personality bringing presence to the record." Her club hit, "La Vie En Rose," helped establish her as a disco icon before she transformed her style into the more stylized avant-pop artist that she is known for. In her candid reflections, Jones writes about her lovers, including her unforgettable first orgasm, her constant quest for new experiences and willingness to try new things, and the free-flowing social circles of fashionistas, artists, and musicians from a time which, even for the author, is often a hazy, half-remembered sensation. Jones' recollections are a passionate reminder of the fabulous, decadent, and manic coupling of life and art.

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    September 15, 2015

    Jones views herself as both an artist and a work of art, formed by religious dogma, rebellion, and cross- and countercultural influences and experiences. The author left home to pursue theater, joined a hippie commune, and wound up on a nomad's path of modeling, music, and then eventually acting. The eccentric public persona known as "Grace Jones" (her family addresses her by her shortened middle name Bev) was the creation of photographers, designers, artists, producers, and music executives--boldface names including Andy Warhol and Keith Haring and fashion designers such as Issey Miyake. To understand her as both art and artist is to understand the dramatic sociopolitical and cultural changes characteristic of the last half of the 20th century. Moving from the free-love hippie culture of the 1960s to the decadence of the 1980s, this title is part artist's statement, part art history companion. Jones's writing is poetry and prose, revealing just enough to help readers contextualize her personality yet teasingly evasive enough to leave room for interpretation. VERDICT Recommended mostly for Jones fans, this book would also be of interest to those who enjoy reading about art and fashion movements of the 1980s as well as pop culture icons such as Lady Gaga and Rihanna.--Tamela Chambers, Chicago Pub. Schs.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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