By Mary Gabriel
Read by Elise Arsenault
Formats and Prices
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around October 10, 2023. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
With her arrival on the music scene in the early 1980s, Madonna generated nothing short of an explosion—as great as that of Elvis or the Beatles—taking the nation by storm with her liberated politics and breathtaking talent. Within two years of her 1983 debut album, a flagship Macy's store in Manhattan held a Madonna lookalike contest featuring Andy Warhol as a judge, and opened a department called “Madonna-land.”
But Madonna was more than just a pop star. Everywhere, fans gravitated to her as an emblem of a new age, one in which feminism could shed the buttoned-down demeanor of the 1970s and feel relevant to a new generation. Amid the scourge of AIDS, she brought queer identities into the mainstream, fiercely defending a person's right to love whomever—and be whoever—they wanted. Despite fierce criticism, she never separated her music from her political activism. And, as an artist, she never stopped experimenting. Madonna existed to push past boundaries by creating provocative, visionary music, videos, films, and live performances that changed culture globally.
Deftly tracing Madonna’s story from her Michigan roots to her rise to super-stardom, master biographer Mary Gabriel captures the dramatic life and achievements of one of the greatest artists of our time.
"A gorgeous and unsettling narrative...Ninth Street Women is supremely gratifying, generous, and lush but also tough and precise -- in other words, as complicated and capacious as the lives it depicts...It's as if once Gabriel got started, the canvas before her opened up new vistas. We should be grateful she yielded to its possibilities."Jennifer Szalai, New York Times
"Ninth Street Women is like a great, sprawling Russian novel, filled with memorable characters and sharply etched scenes. It's no mean feat to breathe life into five very different and very brave women, none of whom gave a whit about conventional mores. But Ms. Gabriel fleshes out her portraits with intimate details, astute analyses of the art and good old-fashioned storytelling."Ann Landi, Wall Street Journal
"Ninth Street Women is a must read...Gabriel seamlessly weaves the intimate and the public, the lives and the art, making us feel we were there...It is a story that is a part of the American story, told here in vivid, meaningful detail, an absolutely pivotal text."Margaret Randall, Women's Review of Books
"Gabriel's fascinating group portrait shimmers with vivid personal detail...She traces their interwoven paths from studio to Cedar Bar to the Eight Street loft known as the Club...Over time, Willem de Kooning outshone Elaine; Jackson Pollock eclipsed Krasner. Key contributions were erased...Gabriel makes sure these major artists who have been written out of history are not forgotten."Jane Ciabattari, BBC.com
"Masterful. Mixing critical insight with juicy storytelling, Mary Gabriel brings five brilliant female painters to the fore of the art revolution that cut a wide swath in postwar America."Patricia Albers, author of Joan Mitchell: Lady Painter
- On Sale
- Oct 10, 2023
- Hachette Audio
Selected Bibliography and Endnotes