Years after her death Maria Callas remains one of the most renowned and compelling of all divas. Although much has been written about Callas the prima donna, the consummate stage magician, and the tragic lover of Aristotle Onassis, this is the first account of Maria the woman by someone who was close to her. Stancioff, a longtime friend, shares memories of the Maria who gave impromptu concerts of Beatles hits and Mexican ballads; of the Maria who starved herself to conform to the image of a celebrity but would go into rhapsodies about a plate of pasta. And to her own warm reminiscences, Stancioff adds the insights of Maria's friends, colleagues, and family. The figure that emerges is intriguing, infuriating, mystifying--and endlessly fascinating.