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Jennifer Otter Bickerdike – You Are Beautiful and You Are Alone: The Biography of Nico

The real story of Nico is one of determination, self-destruction and belief in one's artistic vision, at any cost.

Nico was an ever-evolving myth, an enigma that escaped definition.

Born Christa Päffgen, Nico grew up in war-torn Berlin before being scouted by a fashion photographer in her early teens. At age twenty-seven, she became Andy Warhol's newest Superstar, securing the position of chanteuse for the Velvet Underground. Though she is primarily remembered for contributions to their seminal debut album - and her relationships with Brian Jones, Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison - her own artistry and influence have often been overlooked.

Nico spent most of her career as a solo artist on the road, enduring empty concert halls, abusive fans and the perilous reality of being a drug addict. Yet beneath the superficial denigrations and one-dimensional myths was a complicated visionary determined to make art that was truly her own.

In You Are Beautiful and You Are Alone, defying the sexist casting of her life as the tragedy of a beautiful woman losing her looks, youth and fame, Jennifer Otter Bickerdike cements Nico's legacy as one of the most vital artists of her time, inspiring a generation of luminaries including Björk, Morrissey and Iggy Pop.

Containing over a hundred new interviews and rare archival material, this is an empowering reappraisal of an underappreciated icon.


'Here is the Odyssey of Nico . . . a scholarly and detailed chronicle of this brilliant artist, who was spurned and tortured for her trouble.'

'At last, a comprehensive and compelling book about Nico.'

'[A] fantastic book.'


Faber & Faber, 2021

Publisher ‏ : ‎Faber & Faber
Language ‏ : ‎English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎512 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎0571350011
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎978-0571350018
Dimensions ‏ : ‎15.3 x 3.7 x 23.4 cm

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