Maria Callas by Anne Edwards
An Intimate Biography

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Synopsis

Maria Callas continues to mesmerize us twenty years after her death, not only because she was indisputably the greatest opera diva of the 20th century, but also because both her life and death were shrouded in a Machiavellian web of scandal, mystery and deception. Now Anne Edwards, well known for her revealing and insightful biographies of some of the world’s most noted women, tells the intimate story of Maria Callas—her loves, her life, and her music, revealing the true woman behind the headlines, gossip and speculation.

The second daughter of Greek immigrant parents, Maria found herself in the grasp of an overwhelmingly ambitious mother who took her away from her native New York and the father she loved, to a Greece on the eve of the Second World War. From there, we learn of the hardships, loves and triumphs Maria experienced in her professional and personal life. We are introduced to the men who marked Callas forever—Luchino Visconti, the brilliant homosexual director who she loved hopelessly, Giovanni Battista Meneghini, the husband thirty years her senior who used her for his own ambitions, as had her mother, and Aristotle Onassis, who put an end to their historic love affair by discarding her for the widowed Jacqueline Kennedy. Throughout her life, Callas waged a constant battle with her weight, a battle she eventually won, transforming herself from an ugly duckling into the slim and glamorous diva who transformed opera forever, whose recordings are legend, and whose life is the stuff of which tabloids are made.

Anne Edwards goes deeper than previous biographies of Maria Callas have dared. She draws upon intensive research to refute the story of Callas’s “mystery child” by Onassis, and she reveals the true circumstances of the years preceding Callas’s death, including the deception perpetrated by her close and trusted friend. As in her portraits of other brilliant, star-crossed women, Edwards brings Maria Callas—the intimate Callas—alive.
 

About Anne Edwards

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Anne Edwards, who has been hailed as “the queen of biography” by Kirkus Reviews, is the author of many bestselling biographies, including Katharine Hepburn: A Remarkable Woman and Ever After: Diana and the Life She Led. She currently lives in Beverly Hills, California.
 
Published February 27, 2003 by St. Martin's Griffin. 368 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Maria Callas

Kirkus Reviews

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Once Callas is cremated and the last scandal is dealt with, she gives us a single perfunctory paragraph commenting on Callas’s impact and then ends it, rather like a college term paper written the night before.

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The New York Times

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If, on the other hand, you are not an opera buff and know little or nothing about Callas, ''Maria Callas: An Intimate Biography'' will serve as a perfectly respectable starting place for further inquiry.

Aug 26 2001 | Read Full Review of Maria Callas: An Intimate Bio...

Publishers Weekly

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(Most notably, she produces evidence refuting Nicholas Gage's claim in his recent Greek Fire that Callas had—and lost—a son by Onassis.) Edwards chronicles Callas's life from her humble beginnings as a pharmacist's daughter in Astoria, Queens, New York, to formal music training in war-torn Greec...

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