Books and Essays

Loving Our Addicted Daughters Back to Life
The first book that gathers the cutting-edge gender-based research into addiction and recovery for women and their loved ones.

Central Recovery Press, June 2015

A novel about New York in the 70's.

Cleans Up Nicely
"In this new century, a growing fascination with the Manhattan low-life of the 1970's is emerging...A significant new contribution to this genre is Cleans Up Nicely, sequel to Gringa in a Strange Land" Nino Avante

Gringa in a Strange Land
A vivid portrait of a young American artists in the exotic maelstrom of Mexico in the 70's, on a drug-, booze- and sex-suffused odyssey - a struggle to create art, find herself and seek love-amid the hippies and the druggies, the ordinary folk, the grifters and the adventurers all crossing paths...You'll think of Robert Stone's work in that the novel so adeptly renders an era, a country and a state of mind." Randolph Hogan, former editor of The New York Times Book Review
Awarded Best Creative Writing for 2010 by Writers in the Sky

Morning Glory: a Biography of Mary Lou Williams

"Linda Dahl is one of the gifted biographers who can analyze her subject and put it into fascinating detail that will appeal to a large reading audience. Dahl succeeds brilliantly in her biography of jazz great Mary Lou Williams in Morning Glory." Lee Prosser, www.jazzreview.com/book-reviews

"A stunning character in search of a soul mate. Williams has found her soul mate in Linda Dahl and the engrossing result is Morning Glory

Gene Santoro, The New York Times Book Review

"Every great artist deserves a biography of this caliber."
Scott Yanow, Jazz Improv

This is my portrait of Mary Lou Williams, the pianist, arranger and composer who, like the writer Zora Neale Hurston, was abundantly talented but too much in the shadows during her lifetime. Born in 1910, Mary Lou began performing at 7 in Pittsburgh, in gambling dens and at bridge teas for the society Mellons. She mastered the jazz of the twenties and the Swing Era, always at the forefront of creativity during decades when jazz music was all about the fraternity of male musicians. Mary Lou overcame racial barriers as a key performer at Cafe Society in New York, the first important integrated nightclub. She was all about the music and always open to new developments. In the 1940's she was on the cutting edge of bebop, a mentor and close friend to Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. In the 1970's, she concertized with the avant-garde pianist Cecil Taylor, and wrote Mary Lou's Mass, the first jazz mass ever performed at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Mary Lou's last years were as Artist-in-Residence at Duke University. She continued to tap her heels hard as she swung as ferociously as ever at the keyboard on concert tours before dying in 1981.


Haunted Heart: a Biography of Susannah McCorkle
Haunted Heart strikingly resembles the woman it describes: it is vivacious, tender, saturnine, industrious, and deeply intelligent. Like Susannah’s way with certain ballads, it opens a wound and begins the work of healing it. I am grateful for Linda Dahl’s diligence and sympathy. Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic>

"I could not put it down. This fine book will linger in the reader's mind for a very long time. The writing style is crisp, concise and entertaining." Rex Reed

"She paints an intimate and deeply moving portrait of this lost soul." Singer Andrea Marcovicci

Stormy Weather: The Music and Lives of a Century of Jazzwomen
"The definitive work on women in music - an incredible job of research." John Hammond

"A brilliant work of oral history. A triumphant performance, encyclopedic information delivered in a highly readable, often humorous, format." Publishers Weekly

“What she promises and delivers, is a bookish Star Trek; she boldly goes where no man (or woman) has gone before. For people who love jazz, who get bleak when they think of what happened to Billie Holiday, this is their book.”
–Carolyn See, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Come Back, Carmen Miranda: Stories about Latin America
"The main character is Latin America itself: tragic, lush, violent, romanic. A wonderful group of stories." Sarah Passell, Danbury News-Times.

"She conveys that curious affect of travel, where you are transformed by the strange surroundings, all the while aware that you're just a tourist, and her eye and ear for telling detail are marvelous." George Witte, St. Martin's Press





America's Musical Pulse; Riffs & Choruses; Jazz Singers: An Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History
Three books that include: my essay "Equal Time"; the introduction to Stormy Weather; and a piece about the great male and female jazz vocalists.