Dig If You Will the Picture by Ben Greenman
Funk, Sex, God and Genius in the Music of Prince

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Likely not the definitive book on Prince, but certainly one that merits attention by fans and students of pop culture alike.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A unique and kaleidoscopic look into the life, legacy, and electricity of the pop legend Prince and his wideranging impact on our culture

Ben Greenman, New York Times bestselling author, contributing writer to the New Yorker, and owner of thousands of recordings of Prince and Prince-related songs, knows intimately that there has never been a rock star as vibrant, mercurial, willfully contrary, experimental, or prolific as Prince. Uniting a diverse audience while remaining singularly himself, Prince was a tireless artist, a musical virtuoso and chameleon, and a pop-culture prophet who shattered traditional ideas of race and gender, rewrote the rules of identity, and redefined the role of sex in pop music.

A polymath in his own right who collaborated with George Clinton and Questlove on their celebrated memoirs, Greenman has been listening to and writing about Prince since the mid-eighties. Here, with the passion of an obsessive fan and the skills of a critic, journalist, and novelist, he mines his encyclopedic knowledge of Prince’s music to tell both his story and the story of the paradigm-shifting ideas that he communicated to his millions of fans around the world. Greenman's take on Prince is the autobiography of a generation and its ideas. Asking a series of questions—not only “Who was Prince?” but “Who wasn’t he?” and “Who are we?”—Dig if You Will the Picture is a fitting tribute to an extraordinary talent.

 

About Ben Greenman

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Ben Greenman is an editor at The New Yorker and the author of several acclaimed works of fiction, including the short story collections What He's Poised to Do; Superbad; Superworse; and A Circle Is a Balloon and Compass Both: Stories about Human Love; and the novel Please Step Back. His fiction, essays, and journalism have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Paris Review, Zoetrope: All Story, McSweeney's, Opium, and elsewhere, and have been widely anthologized. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.
 
Published April 11, 2017 by Henry Holt and Co.. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Dig If You Will the Picture
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 07 2017

Likely not the definitive book on Prince, but certainly one that merits attention by fans and students of pop culture alike.

Read Full Review of Dig If You Will the Picture: ... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by John Williams on Apr 11 2017

...the mystery of him — the prodigious one given to him seemingly at birth, and the coy one manufactured by him — might be too profound a barrier. For now we have discerning, still-grieving fans like Greenman, shining light where they can.

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