"For nearly forty years, Philippa Schuyler has remained fixed in my imagination as the brilliant musical child prodigy I heard so much about in the 1950s. In this thoroughly researched and insightful biography, Kathryn Talalay gives us a picture of Philippa Schuyler as artist, as feminist, as international observer and correspondent, struggling always with racial barriers as well as with issues of her bi-racial identity. As she overcomes these external and internal boundaries, Schuyler seems very much a woman of the 1990s."--Mary Helen Washington"Philippa Duke Schuyler was one of the most talented, glamorous, and intriguing American women of the century. This brilliantly researched and lucidly written biography reads like a novel as it unwraps the secrets of a life simultaneously dark and lustrous."--Richard Newman, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University
George Schuyler, a renowned black journalist of the Harlem Renaissance, and Josephine Cogdell, a blond, blue-eyed Texas heiress and granddaughter of slave owners, believed that intermarriage would "invigorate" the races, thereby producing extraordinary offspring. Their daughter, Philippa Duke Schuyler, became the embodiment of this theory, and they hoped she would prove that interracial children represented the final solution to America's race problems. A child prodigy of the 1930s and 40s, who was often compared to Mozart, Schuyler later became an expatriate pianist, who performed for kings and queens, and a right-wing journalist - "Felipa Monterro" from Madagascar - who supported the Vietnam war, and died in a helicopter accident over Da Nang. This authorized biography of Philippa Schuyler draws on previously unpublished letters and diaries to reveal an extraordinary and complex personality. In chronicling Schuyler's restless and haunting life, her battles against racism and sexism, her exploits and love affairs, it also offers a history of the tumultuous times she lived through.