Deborah Paredez — American Diva: Extraordinary, Unruly, Fabulous with Gayle Wald — at Union Market

Upcoming Event
Thursday, June 6, 2024 - 7:00pm
This event is in partnership with the Washington Literacy Center.

What does it mean to be a “diva”? The term has been used both to deride and celebrate charismatic and unapologetically fierce performers like Aretha Franklin and the women of Labelle. In this brilliant and powerful blend of incisive criticism and electric memoir, Deborah Paredez—scholar, cultural critic, and lifelong diva devotee—unravels our enduring fascination with these icons. American Diva journeys into Tina Turner’s scintillating performances, Celia Cruz’s command of the male-dominated salsa world, and the unparalleled excellence of Venus and Serena Williams. Exploring her childhood immersion in Rita Moreno’s powerhouse portrayal of West Side Story’s Anita and her admiration of her fabulous Tía Lucia, Paredez chronicles these celebrated and skilled performers who boldly expressed American aspirations for freedom among Brown, Black, and gay communities. Filled with sharp insights and great heart, American Diva is a spirited tribute to the power of performance and the joys of fandom.

Deborah Paredez is chair of the Writing Program at Columbia University. The author of Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory and two poetry collections, she lives in New York.

Paredez will be in conversation with Gayle Wald. Wald is professor of American Studies at George Washington University. Her biography This Is Rhythm: Ella Jenkins, Children's Music, and the Long Civil Rights Movement is forthcoming in 2025 from the University of Chicago Press.

This event is free with first come, first served seating.

1324 4th St NE
Washington, DC 20002
Union Market
Non Fiction
American Diva: Extraordinary, Unruly, Fabulous By Deborah Paredez Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324035305
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 21st, 2024