No Regrets by Carolyn Burke
The Life of Edith Piaf

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The iconic French singer comes to life in this enthralling, definitive biography, which captures Edith Piaf’s immense charisma along with the time and place that gave rise to her unprecedented international career.

Raised by turns in a brothel, a circus caravan, and a working-class Paris neighborhood, Piaf began singing on the city’s streets, where she was discovered by a Champs-Elysées cabaret owner. She became a star almost overnight, seducing Paris’s elite and the people of its slums in equal measure with her powerful, passionate voice. No Regrets explores her rise to fame and notoriety, her tumultuous love affairs, and her struggles with drugs, alcohol, and illness, while also drawing on new sources to enhance our knowledge of little-known aspects of her life. Piaf was an unlikely student of poetry and philosophy, who aided Resistance efforts in World War II, wrote the lyrics for nearly one hundred songs (including “La Vie en rose”) and was a crucial mentor to younger singers (including Yves Montand and Charles Aznavour) who absorbed her love of chanson and her exacting approach to their métier.

Here is Piaf in her own world—Paris in the first half of the twentieth century—and in ours. Burke demonstrates how, with her courage, her incomparable art, and her universal appeal, “the little sparrow” endures as a symbol of France and a source of inspiration to entertainers worldwide.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Carolyn Burke

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Carolyn Burke is the author of Lee Miller: A Life and Becoming Modern: The Life of Mina Loy. She has taught at the University of California at Santa Cruz and Davis and at universities in France and in Australia, where she was born. She now lives in California and writes full-time.
Published March 22, 2011 by Knopf. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for No Regrets

Publishers Weekly

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Following her biographies of photographer Lee Miller and poet Mina Loy, Burke offers this eloquent embrace of the famed French singer-songwriter, Edith Piaf. As a child, Piaf (1915–1963) grew up in a

Dec 06 2010 | Read Full Review of No Regrets: The Life of Edith...

BC Books

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Edith Piaf was "La Voix de Paris" (The Voice of Paris) in the '40s, '50s and early '60s, and the French people loved her not only for her voice but for her legend and her sheer zest for life and love.

May 02 2012 | Read Full Review of No Regrets: The Life of Edith...

The Wall Street Journal

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Burke says that the real love of Piaf's life was her audience, the faithful public that never let her down, never grew lukewarm in its ardor and never divvied its affections with a wife.

Apr 02 2011 | Read Full Review of No Regrets: The Life of Edith...

The Washington Post

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Apr 01 2011 | Read Full Review of No Regrets: The Life of Edith...

Dallas News

Even as a teenager in the Paris slums, Edith Piaf possessed an emotional, powerful voice, one that “hits you in the stomach just when you’re not thinking about it,” as one early critic put it.

Apr 15 2011 | Read Full Review of No Regrets: The Life of Edith...

Portland Book Review

No Regrets: The Life of Edith Piaf by Carolyn Burke, follows the years of Edith’s life and the many friends, lovers, mentors and protégés that were a part of it.

Aug 17 2011 | Read Full Review of No Regrets: The Life of Edith...

News Review.

My daughter, Sionann, used to live in the Belleville district of Paris, the neighborhood that produced Edith Piaf, one of the most enduring icons in all of French history.

Oct 27 2011 | Read Full Review of No Regrets: The Life of Edith...

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