Harry Belafonte

Books Sheila Crowley, +44 (0)20 7393 4288 Email Sheila Crowley

My Song

US Knopf (Ed. Peter Gethers)
UK & Comm Canongate Books
First print run: 150,000 copies

Harry Belafonte is not just one of the greatest entertainers of our time; he has led one of the great American lives of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Now, at last, this extraordinary icon tells us about it all—his poverty-ridden childhood in Harlem and Jamaica; his meteoric rise to become one of the world’s most popular singers, breaking down racial barriers that no one had broken before, achieving equal popularity with white and black audiences; his lifelong, passionate involvement at the heart of the civil rights movement and countless other political and social causes. Along the way he’s befriended many beloved and important figures in both entertainment and politics—Paul Robeson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sidney Poitier, John F. Kennedy, Marlon Brando, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro—and writes about them with the same exceptional candor and insight with which he reveals himself on every page.

As both an artist and an activist, Belafonte has touched the lives of countless men and women. With My Song, he has found yet another way to entertain and inspire us. It is an electrifying memoir from a remarkable man.

Audio Rights


The audio rights are handled by Alice Lutyens.

Daisy Meyrick manages the translation rights for My Song


Translation Rights Sold

Chinese Simple
Mainland China
China Renmin University Press
Kiepenheuer & Witsch
My Song

One of the book’s triumphs involves the way Belafonte and Shnayerson manage to capture Belafonte’s distinctive voice... You can almost hear him narrate the story in his stately rasp. Sarah Rodman
The Boston Globe
Full Review

To read Harry Belafonte's new memoir, My Song, is to discover a man who has packed enough life for 10 people into 84 years.
NPR: Morning Edition

Here is a gorgeous account of the large life of a Harlem boy ... Scenes of extravagant waste, scenes of righteous anger—rich contradictions abound—with little attempt to explain them away, a mark of the honest autobiographer. Garrison Keillor
The New York Times Book Review

Engrossing autobiographical account of a life devoted in equal parts to entertainment and social causes. My Song is rich with vivid scenes of Belafonte working as an adviser, mediator, fundraiser and implementer with such players as John and Robert Kennedy and King. Tom Nolan
The San Francisco Chronicles

In My Song, a brave and spellbinding memoir written with Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Shnayerson, Belafonte tells a sweeping story... riveting... In these days of national and global uncertainty, with the numbers of poor steadily rising, there are lessons aplenty in the life of Harry Belafonte, as told in this surprising and revelatory book. Wil Haygood
The Washington Post

An honest, in many ways important and genuinely revelatory autobiography... My Song reveals, Belafonte was more than celebrity eye candy, burnishing his image with a little politically correct politicking. He not only talked the talk, but walked the walk... My Song is more than fitting denouement for a life well lived. Curt Schleier
The Seattle Times

With lyrical grace, [Harry Belafonte]chronicles his life from early childhood [...] and his first singing engagements, to the difficulties in his own marriages, the grueling life on the show circuit, and his later involvement in the civil rights movement and other social causes.
Publishers Weekly
Full Review

Full of memorabilia reflecting [Harry Belafonte's] diverse accomplishments and enduring passions. Elysa Gardner
USA Today

Bracingly opinionated autobiography from an American original, still provocative in his ninth decade.
Kirkus Book Reviews
Full Review

Not merely as a singer but...a man who played a key role in 1960s American history.

A page-turner.
The Spectator
Full Review