New book endorsements for Deanna’s forthcoming (August 15, 2021) book, Mary Lou Williams: Music for the Soul, are coming in! Here are two quotes:
“A beautifully written and expertly researched biography of one of the most fascinating Catholic artists of our time. Deanna Witkowski, a musician herself, brings to life a whole era in this engrossing new book about art, music, love, perseverance and faith.”
James Martin, SJ, author of Learning to Pray
“Mary Lou Williams: Music for the Soul is a thrilling account of the extraordinary life of a brilliantly successful African American Jazz artist who became a devout Catholic—and it is so much more besides. The reader who accompanies Mary Lou on her journey bears witness to the historical circumstances that shaped her era: the evolution of Jazz music in America, the challenges African American musicians faced as they tried to practice their art, the sexism of the Jazz world, the difficult and often tragic lives of professional musicians, and the powerful appeal of the Catholic Church to artists in search of meaning in life, stability, and a spiritual home. Witkowski, as a Jazz artist herself who converted to Catholicism, is the ideal person to write this biography of Mary Lou, a figure from the great pantheon of Jazz musicians in whom she ‘unexpectedly found a soul companion and a life-long mentor.’ Her extensive musical knowledge makes her the perfect guide to Williams’s work, and her identity as a fellow Catholic enables her to empathize with Mary Lou’s spiritual journey. A meticulously researched and well-told tale, Mary Lou Williams is rife with cliffhangers, foreshadowing, tragic losses, psychic and religious visions, and unexpected intrusions of grace. It is also, to this reader’s delight, a labor of love.”
Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, author of Flannery O’Connor: Fiction Fired by Faith
Read more testimonials here.
For an autographed copy, preorder here.