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Coal to Diamonds [Hardcover]

Beth Ditto
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: £16.99
Price: £13.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

11 Oct 2012
Born and raised in Judsonia, Arkansas-a place where indoor plumbing was a luxury, squirrel was a meal, and sex ed was taught during senior year in high school (long after many girls had gotten pregnant and dropped out) Beth Ditto stood out. Beth was a fat, pro-choice, sexually confused choir nerd with a great voice, an eighties perm, and a Kool Aid dye job. Her single mother worked overtime, which meant Beth and her five siblings were often left to fend for themselves. Beth spent much of her childhood as a transient, shuttling between relatives, caring for a sickly, volatile aunt she nonetheless loved, looking after sister, brothers, and cousins, and trying to steer clear of her mother's bad boyfriends. Her punk education began in high school under the tutelage of a group of teens - her second family - who embraced their outsider status and introduced her to safety-pinned clothing , mail-order tapes, queer and fat-positive zines, and any shred of counterculture they could smuggle into Arkansas. With their help, Beth survived high school, a tragic family scandal, and a mental breakdown, and then she got the hell out of Judsonia. She decamped to Olympia, Washington, a late-1990s paradise for Riot Grrrls and punks, and began to cultivate her glamorous, queer, fat, femme image. On a whim - with longtime friends Nathan, a guitarist and musical savant in a polyester suit, and Kathy, a quiet intellectual turned drummer - she formed the band Gossip. She gave up trying to remake her singing voice into the ethereal wisp she thought it should be and instead embraced its full, soulful, potential. Gossip gave her that chance, and the raw power of her voice won her and Gossip the attention they deserved. Marked with the frankness, humour and defiance that have made her an international icon, Beth Ditto's unapologetic, startlingly direct, and poetic memoir is a hypnotic and inspiring account of a woman coming into her own.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (11 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847372163
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847372161
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


How a southern girl broke free from expectation and discovered the transformative powers of punk rock, the grammar school of misfits, and got the hell out of Judsonia, Arkansas - Observer

Gossip front woman Beth Ditto is one of rock s more intriguing stars. And her autobiography Coal to Diamonds certainly doesn t hold back - Grazia

Don t miss it, because Ditto s own trials and tribulations told largely in her own voice are so riveting

Frank and heartfelt...a testament to the power of music - NME

A bold shows stopper and a candid commentator - Metro

A rewarding telling of the Gossip frontwoman s ascent from poverty-stricken queer outsiderdom and familial dysfunction to pop success - --Q Magazine

About the Author

Beth Ditto is the lead singer of Gossip. She lives in Portland Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Mary Beth Ditto is a lovely, inspirational feminist, lesbian, fantastic singer and entertainer as well as her many other talents like clothes designing, making and cooking !
Her autobiography holds nothing back and reading this has just made me admire and respect her even more. Highly recommended for her fans or even anyone that wants to know the truth , not just rubbish the media has said. I loved it !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this book :) 13 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an honest and often heartrendering read from Beth Ditto. As an autobiography it is sad in places but also funny. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the Gossip as it does give a unique insight into the early days of the band. I got through it in one day and enjoyed it thoroughly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 3 Dec 2012
By nat
If you're a fan of the ditto what's there not to love. I'll be reading this over and over. Apart from the book being perfect (can't find fault in Beth ditto!) the delivery was prompt. Can't ask any more than that
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 24 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a massive fan of Beth Ditto, her sense of humour and strong opinions were what made me buy this book. Unfortunately, this book is a lot more depressing than I'd anticipated and generally isn't that well written, which is a shame.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mining a very thin seam 31 Dec 2012
By emvanek
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not yet enough material to provide interest.Later in her career; with more rock'n'roll anecdotes and less of the heavily ghost written and more personally reflected early history-then possibly ....?
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