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Poly Styrene was a singer-songwriter, a free-thinker, a post-modern style pioneer, and a lifelong spiritual seeker: a true punk icon. But this rebel queen with the cheeky grin was also a latter-day pop artist with a wickedly perceptive gift for satirizing the world around her—her playful aesthetic sharply at odds with the stark monochrome style and nihilism of punk. Here, for the first time, the jigsaw of Poly's inspiring and often moving story has been lovingly pieced together by her daughter, singer-songwriter Celeste Bell, and writer-artist Zoë Howe. From growing up mixed-race in Brixton in the 1960s to being at the forefront of the emerging punk scene with X-Ray Spex in the 1970s, from finding faith with the Hare Krishna movement to balancing single motherhood with a solo music career and often debilitating mental health issues, the book openly explores Poly's exceptional life, up until her untimely passing in 2011. Based on interviews with those who knew and loved Poly whether personally or through music, this oral history book includes testimonies from Vivienne Westwood, Don Letts, Glen Matlock, Jonathan Ross, Neneh Cherry, The Slits' Tessa Pollitt, Thurston Moore, Jon Savage, and many others.
About the Author
Celeste Bell is the lead singer of Celeste Dos Santos and The Tabloid Queens, narrator and co-writer of the documentary I Am A Cliche, and Poly Styrene's daughter. Zoe Howe is a writer, musician, and visual artist based in Essex. Her books include Lee Brilleaux: Rock 'n' Roll Gentleman, Typical Girls?, The Story Of The Slits, How's Your Dad?, Living In The Shadow of a Rock Star Parent, and Wilko Johnson: Looking Back At Me.