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Candace Allen Speaker & Booking Information


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About Candace Allen

Candace Allen Biography

Candace Allen is an American novelist, political activist, cultural critic and screenwriter, who is based in London. She was the first African-American woman to be a member of the Directors Guild of America. She is the niece of actress and drama coach Billie Allen, and the former wife of British conductor Sir Simon Rattle.

Her first book, a fictionalized biography about the African-American female jazz trumpeter Valaida Snow, was published by Virago Press in 2004. Reviewing the novel for JazzTimes, Gwen Ansell wrote: "Allen engages with what it might feel like to think through and play a solo; tour depressing, racist Southern towns; haggle with agents and managers. She treats Snow first and foremost as a musician. The wry, weary wit of backstage conversation rings true and the details play out before a fascinating panorama of pre-1960s jazz and vaudeville stages. In this use of close-up against rich, intensely visual backdrop, in frequent crosscutting and flashback scenes, Allen the screenwriter is very evident. And while the book remains a romance, it's tougher than most and definitely worth reading."

Allen's must recent work, the acclaimed Soul Music: the Pulse of Race and Music, which has been described as "part-travelogue, part-memoir, part-manifesto", was published by Gibson Square Press in 2012.

She writes regularly for The Guardian of London and other newspapers.

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