Memoir of a Minnie Riperton Fan
By Sheila Simmons
"Memoir of a Minnie Riperton Fan" is the story of a writer’s journey through the life and times of her childhood idol, singer Minnie Riperton -- best known for her five-octave range and the 1975 hit song, “Lovin’ You.” In Cleveland, where persistently cloudy skies serve as a backdrop for the writer’s disillusionment with life, Sheila Simmons abandons her job as a newspaper entertainment writer. She travels to Chicago, Florida, New York, Acapulco and L.A. to explore the seemingly fairy-tale life of Riperton, who died of breast cancer at the age of 31. Through her research into and encounters with those who knew Riperton, including Pam Grier, Stevie Wonder, Muhammad Ali’s wife Khalilah, Earth, Wind & Fire producer Charles Stepney and others from ‘60s and ‘70s music, our writer discovers not only Minnie, but also herself. This soundtrack-laced literary mix of “Eat, Pray, Love” and “Julie & Julia” will have readers laughing, crying, reflecting and singing.