"Practicing for Love: A Memoir" by Nina Kennedy

Practicing for Love: A Memoir

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Practicing for Love: A Memoir
"Practicing for Love A Memoir" book cover.png
Author        Nina Kennedy
Country      United States
Language   English
Subject       Autobiography, American                                     history, classical music,                                   race relations, sexism
Published   February 2020
Publisher    RoseDog Books, an imprint                               of Dorrance Publishing                                       Company
Media type  Print
Pages          410
ISBN            978-1-6453-0505-7              
Practicing for Love: A Memoir[1] is a 2019 nonfiction autobiography written by Nina Kennedy and published by RoseDog Books. It is about her life and experiences as a daughter of college professors, a child prodigy, a student at Juilliard, a concert pianist, and ultimately as a black woman.
The book is divided into three parts. Part one examines her formative years, beginning in Nashville, Tennessee where she gives her first concert at age nine, and appears as piano soloist with the Nashville Symphony at age thirteen. As she was raised on the Fisk University campus, there is much history included on the school and the Fisk Jubilee Singers, which her father directed. The section ends with her graduation from The Juilliard School with a master's degree in piano performance. In part two she begins to come to grips with the impact of American racism on her career. She tours Europe and makes her first recording at Abbey Road Studios in London, but the recording is not released because of a fraudulent contract. She describes encounters with celebrities including Marian AndersonIsaac HayesRoberta FlackSpike LeeCyndi LauperWynton MarsalisCoretta Scott KingVladimir HorowitzWhitney Houston, et al. She performs internationally as piano soloist with symphony orchestras and as a solo recitalist, but she finds that she is not able to make a living from her performances alone. In part three she begins writing scripts for a "cocaine-addicted actress" to perform on stage, and for her own spoken-word performances. Soon a film producer does a documentary on her work as a spoken-word artist, and the film is selected and screened at the Berlin International Film Festival where she is lauded as a screenwriter and actress. Ultimately she makes her home in Vienna, Austria.

Kennedy describes her introduction to ancient Goddess literature and prayers, and enjoys the effects of incorporating the female deity in her spiritual life. Her descriptions of sexist encounters are vivid and heartbreaking, and she comes to realize that her father has never been the kind of protector that she needed. She also comes to grips with the effects of her mother's alcoholism on her life, and the verbal abuse and bullying she endured in a segregated public school system.
Practicing for Love: A Memoir is the first book of a series. The second book, Practice What You Preach, will be published in 2022.[2] The Noshing with Nina Show presented a "virtual" book launch on May 20, 2020 on Manhattan Neighborhood Network.[3][4]
Practicing for Love: A Memoir is a 2021 Lambda Literary Award Finalist.

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