A Cultural History
David Looseley is Emeritus Professor of Contemporary French Culture at the University of Leeds and the author of Popular Music in Contemporary France: Authenticity, Politics, Debate (Berg, 2003)
Part I: Narrating Piaf
1 Inventing la Môme
2 Piaf and her public
3 A singer at war
Part II: Piaf and Chanson
4 A new Piaf
5 High art, low culture: Piaf and la chanson française
6 Ideology, tragedy, celebrity: a new middlebrow
Part III: Afterlives
7 Losing Piaf
8 Remembering Piaf
9 Performing Piaf
Hugh Dauncey, French Studies
Looseley’s book offers a compelling way of rethinking the mythology of Piaf while still addressing its power through narratives, especially his analysis of her early career. He nimbly moves between the dramatic narratives of Piaf’s affairs and scandals, while at the same time addresses how their public consumption reflected significant changes in French society.
Indiana University Northwest
David Looseley’s volume is an indispensable reference for anyone interested in the complexity behind the mythical figure of Piaf and it provides an admirable model for a searching analysis of the myth making machinery of popular music.
Peter Hawkins, Popular Music
Looseley’s enthusiasm for Piaf pervades this book ... This cultural study is written with scrupulous attention to detail and accuracy and has a comprehensive chronology, notes and index.
The Franco-British Society
It is a sharp and profoundly satisfying book, exposing in a sympathetic way the contradictions of the artist as well as the cultural complexities of her persona. this book is sure to become an important reference point for students and scholars of French Studies and Popular Music Studies alike, and an essential blueprint for future French music studies.
Barbara Lebrun Modern & Contemporary France
Publication: October 28, 2015