Susan Fales-Hill

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ALWAYS WEAR JOY: MY MOTHER BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL

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One Flight UpFrom an inside peek at the inner workings of Hollywood to the backstage drama of Broadway, from a poignant look at the black upper class to an honest look at the WASP elite, this elegantly wrought memoir of an extraordinary family has something for everyone.

Growing up with a mother who performed with the likes of Lena Horne and Alvin Ailey, Susan Fales-Hill thought nothing of watching her mother, Josephine Premice, perform in an acclaimed black Broadway musical one moment and host one of her celebrated salons, where Maya Angelou and Bobby Short might rub elbows with Gore Vidal, the next. And come summer time, the entire family—including Josephine in false eyelashes and costume jewelry—would flee to Faleton, the summer estate that belonged to her white father's aristocratic family. Here fox hunts displaced the Double Dutch jump that Fales-Hill learned in Brooklyn while visiting her grand-pere, a Haitian political émigré whose family had also enjoyed prominence and who taught Susan that black was beautiful and anything but inferior. Both a universally touching mother-daughter story and a portrait of an American family that is dazzling in its public life—because of the company they kept and the values they forged—and emotionally vulnerable in their private life, Always Wear Joy is a memoir the reader won't soon forget.

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