I felt compelled to write this review because I thought it was important to respond to so many of the comments that criticize this book for its fictionality. While it is certainly true that this book is far from "historically accurate," whatever that may mean, that in no way diminishes this book either as an important work or as a testimonial of Billie Holiday's life. The artistic liberties that William Dufty takes help to place this work within a longer tradition of African American women's writing that stems in large part from nineteenth century slave narratives, and, as a result, this book is fascinating in its awareness of and interactions with these traditions. It also remains devoted to a portraytal of Miss Holiday that exchanges accuracy for the sake not just of readability and commercial viability, but also for the sake of placing her story into and in opposition to a racist, sexist climate that ultimately destroyed one of the most important artists in American history. A factual, chronological account of Miss Holiday's life would have crushed the importance of her story in ways that Dufty attempts to resist (with varying success) throughout this vitally important work of writing.