The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing by Darina Al-Joundi

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Raised on Charles Baudelaire, A Clockwork Orange, and fine Bordeaux in 1970s Lebanon, Darina Al-Joundi was encouraged by her unconventional father to defy all taboos. As the bombs fell, she lived an adolescence of excess and transgression, defying death in nightclubs. The more oppressive the country became, the more drugs and anonymous sex she had, fueling the resentment by day of the same men who would spend the night with her. As the war dies down, she begins to incur the consequences of her lifestyle. On his deathbed, her father's last wish is for his favorite song, "Sinnerman" by Nina Simone, to be played at his funeral instead of the traditional suras of the Koran. When she does just that, the results are catastrophic.

In this dramatic true story, Darina Al-Joundi is defiantly passionate about living her life as a liberated woman, even if it means leaving everyone and everything behind.

Darina Al-Joundi was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1968. "The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing" is also the title of her critically acclaimed one-person show, which was performed in France, where she now lives as an actress, screenwriter, and filmmaker. She is planning a US tour of the show in 2011.


About Darina Al-Joundi

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Darina Al-Joundi: Darina Al-Joundi was born in Lebanon in 1968 to a Shiite Lebanese mother and a secular Syrian father. She began her acting career at age eight with Lebanese television. She left Beirut at thirty for Paris, where she wrote and performedLe jour où Nina Simone a cessé de chanterfor the theater. The play caused a sensation at the Avignon festival, where it was hailed by the critics all over France. Her latest movie,Un homme perdu, by Daniel Arbid, was presented at the Director’s Fortnight of the 2007 Cannes Festival. Mohamed Kacimi: Mohamed Kacimi is an Algerian playwright and novelist. His writings include1962,la Confession d’Abraham, andTerre sainte. Marjolijn de Jager: Marjolijn de Jager was born in Indonesia, raised in the Netherlands, and has been living in the US since 1958. She is a literary translator from French and Dutch to English, with a special interest in francophone African and Middle Eastern women writers. She has been awarded several NEH grants, a NEA translation grant, and is a Silver Winner ofForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award (2007). She is retired from a 30-year career of teaching French language and literature, as well as literary translation at NYU, where she continues to teach Dutch and French language.
Published March 15, 2011 by The Feminist Press at CUNY. 146 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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You may drink, go out, lose your virginity, but…in my house I don’t ever want to see anyone pray or fast.” The story also widens to take in the scope of the larger cultural moment: the family’s exile in Baghdad and return to Beirut, Al-Joundi’s drug addiction and the years of anonymous sex, the c...

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Persephone Magazine

These bizarre acts become fits of normalcy in a place that has lost reason, and by the time Al-Joundi is fourteen and working with the local medics pulling bullets from civilians, you understand with a strange clarity when all she can say about the experience is: “My hands have never held so many...

May 16 2012 | Read Full Review of The Day Nina Simone Stopped S...

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