Crazy They Call Me Characters

This Study Guide consists of approximately 25 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Crazy They Call Me.
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Eleanora Fagan/Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday is the central character in "Crazy They Call Me," and because of the second-person point of view, it is also implied that she is the speaker. Originally Eleanora Fagan, Billie Holiday was a jazz singer in Harlem during the first half of the twentieth century. Besides her music, she is known for her lavish dress (most famously pictured with gardenias in her hair) and her proclivity for drugs and alcohol. Holiday died at the age of 44 in New York City from complications related to alcohol abuse.

In the story, Billie Holiday reflects on her career with wit, humor, earnestness, and intimacy. She is represented by Zadie Smith as someone who was entirely misunderstood by the audiences who watched her perform. Holiday's character in "Crazy They Call Me" is confident, self-righteous, and sassy, but also implicitly vulnerable and lonely. In her portrayal of Holiday...

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This section contains 1,007 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Crazy They Call Me Study Guide
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