In Tonight at Noon, Sue Graham Mingus gives us an elegant and unsparingly honest memoir of a romance
between American opposites: she, a product of privilege, a former midwestern WASP debutante and Smith College graduate who worked as a journalist in Europe and in New York; he, an authentic jazz titan, a brilliant, eccentric, difficult artist, a scion of Watts, Los Angeles, who would become one of America’s foremost composers.
Charles Mingus’s improbable love for Sue Graham, his unpredictable confrontations, excesses, and exaggerations, drew her into a bewildering world, one where jazz and art were magnificent obsessions but were refracted, as was everything else, through Charles’s individualistic interpretation of life itself. It was a world that was as exotic and rapturous, as hostile, enlightening, and baffling, as any far-off country. Tonight at Noon is the story of that world, of the tumultuous, passionate marriage of Sue and Charles Mingus, and of Sue’s personal odyssey inside and outside its confines.
Here is a love story—heartbreaking, joyous, and unforgettable—that also illumines an important chapter in jazz history and the inner workings of a rare and complex artist, whose music, thanks to his widow, still plays to packed concert halls almost twenty-five years after his death.
About Sue Mingus
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Published April 2, 2002
Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography.