On the long list of favorable reviews gathered on her website, SUSANNAH MCCORKLE included this one: "'She sings in tune.'--her dentist, New York City." This was pure Susannah, looking for the joke behind the self-seriousness, the pin in the balloon of pretension. Years before she was a performer, she was a writer (one early piece of fiction was included in Prize Stories 1975: The O. Henry Awards), and becoming a singer was, she once told me, merely the result of "thinking it was a really cool thing to do." Few of us will ever chase a dream so fruitfully. But Susannah,...

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