Suits Me: The Double Life of Billy Tipton

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Houghton Mifflin, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 326 pages
"Suits Me is the biography of a now notorious jazz musician named Billy Tipton, who grew up as Dorothy Tipton in Oklahoma City and Kansas City but lived as a man from the time she was nineteen until she died at age seventy-four. Billy Tipton's death in Spokane, Washington, made news all over the world, not because he was celebrated as a musician but because the scale of his deception - he had been "married" to five women and had reared several adopted children - and the scarcity of ready explanations endowed the skimpy available facts with the aura of myth." "But locked away in Billy's office closet lay files of clippings and photographs documenting the transformation of Billy from she to he, as well as a legacy of annotated comic routines, musical arrangements, and program notes. These revealed to Diane Wood Middlebrook how Billy scattered clues and riddles night after night about the drag she wore. These hints were so bold that they helped conceal Billy's secrets." "With brio and pathos, Suits Me tells the life story of this brilliant deceiver, who lived and loved in two skins, one of each sex."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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User Review  - bookwormteri - LibraryThing

While I found this book super interesting, I definitely felt the lack of Billy's perspective in this story. An incomplete read without knowing what he was thinking and feeling and his motivation ... Read full review

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User Review  - ursula - LibraryThing

This was a very interesting book about Billy Tipton, a musician in the jazz/swing era who was born a woman but passed as a man almost his entire adult life. It's both fascinating and frustrating ... Read full review

Contents

Born Naked 21 January 1989
5
But Who Was She? 18891928
12
Kansas City 19291932
33
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Diane Wood Middlebrook is a writer, poet and Professor of English at Stanford University. She edited "The Selected Poems of Anne Sexton" (1988). Her book "Anne Sexton: A Biography" (1992) was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her 1998 book, "Suits Me: The Double Life of Billy Tipton," is a fascinating account of the respected jazz musician of the 1940's, 50's and 60's. Upon Tipton's death he was discovered to be a woman, despite his having had five wives, with whom he adopted several children. Diane Wood Middlebrook was born in Pocatello, Idaho on April 16, 1939. A graduate of the University of Washington and Yale University, she has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation. She has one child, Leah; she married Carl Djerassi in 1985.

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