The ASU Book Group's February 2019 reading selection is "Religion Around Billie Holiday" by Tracy Fessenden. The book group is open to all in the ASU community and meets monthly from noon to 1 p.m. in the Piper Writers House on ASU's Tempe campus. Authors are always present. A no-host luncheon follows at the University Club. Attendees at each meeting will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate! Drawing to be held in April.

Synopsis: Soulful jazz singer Billie Holiday is remembered today for her unique sound, troubled personal history and a catalogue that includes such resonant songs as "Strange Fruit" and "God Bless the Child." Holiday and her music were also strongly shaped by religion, often in surprising ways. "Religion Around Billie Holiday" examines the spiritual and religious forces that left their mark on the performer during her short but influential life.

The book is available from amazon.com.

Tracy Fessenden is professor of religious studies and interim director of the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at ASU.

The remaining ASU Book Group meetings and selections for 2018—19 are:

The ASU Book Group is sponsored as a community outreach initiative by the Department of English and organized in partnership with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

Cover of "Religion Around Billie Holiday"

Piper Writers House

Event Map: 

For More Information Contact:

Judith Smith
jps@asu.edu