Society's Child: My Autobiography

( 8 )

Overview

Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of fifteen, when her soul-wrenching song 'Society's Child' became a hit. An intimate portrait of an interracial relationship, 'Society's Child' climbed the charts despite the fact that many radio stations across the country refused to play it because of its controversial subject matter. But this was only the beginning of a long and illustrious career. In this fascinating memoir of her more than forty years in the music business, Ian chronicles how she...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$11.77
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$16.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (38) from $1.99   
  • New (16) from $3.63   
  • Used (22) from $1.99   
Society's Child: My Autobiography

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.99
BN.com price

Overview

Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of fifteen, when her soul-wrenching song 'Society's Child' became a hit. An intimate portrait of an interracial relationship, 'Society's Child' climbed the charts despite the fact that many radio stations across the country refused to play it because of its controversial subject matter. But this was only the beginning of a long and illustrious career. In this fascinating memoir of her more than forty years in the music business, Ian chronicles how she did drugs with Jimi Hendrix, went shopping for Grammy clothes with Janis Joplin, and sang with Mel Tormé?all the while never ceasing to create unforgettable music.

In 1975, Ian's legendary ?At Seventeen? earned two Grammy awards and five nominations. Her next two albums brought her worldwide platinum hits. But after seven albums in as many years, she made a conscious decision to walk away from the often grueling music business. During this period, she struggled through a difficult marriage that ended with her then husband's attempt to destroy her, and a sudden illness that very nearly cost her her life. The hiatus from music lasted for close to a decade until, in 1993, Ian returned with the release of the Grammy-nominated Breaking Silence. Now, as she moves gracefully into her fifth decade as a recording artist and writer, Ian continues to draw large audiences around the globe.

In Society's Child, Janis Ian provides a relentlessly honest account of the successes and failures-and the hopes and dreams-of an extraordinary life.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

"I was born into the crack that split America," Ian writes, and her early immersion in the folk music scene of the 1960s helped shape her prodigious songwriting talents while she was still in her teens. The autobiography shares a title with her first hit, a song about a doomed interracial romance that was considered too controversial for many record labels and radio stations. The pressures of the music industry and her troubled family life drove Ian to a nervous breakdown at the age of 19. It was in the following long period of recovery that she wrote her most famous song, "At Seventeen." ("I'd never sing it in public," she says of her initial feelings about the song. "It was just too humiliating.") Soon after reaching that recording peak, her life was derailed by a series of troubles ranging from an abusive marriage (to a man she first met because she was in love with his girlfriend) to massive tax liabilities to bouts with septicemia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The roller-coaster ride may be typical stuff for celebrity autobiography, but fans will appreciate the candor with which Ian discusses these hardships and her gradual path to happiness as an independent singer-songwriter in Nashville. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
The sad life and hard times of the queen of mopey folk. Fifteen-year-old Ian became a cause celebre in the 1960s as the composer and performer of "Society's Child," a folk-pop song that daringly addressed an interracial romance between teenagers. In calm, lucid prose, she charts the bumpy path of her life and career since then as an embattled lesbian singer-songwriter with, apparently, worse luck than the Chicago Cubs. Precociously intelligent, Ian felt alienated from her peers, and this early unhappiness seems to have colored many of her subsequent experiences. As she struggled to advance her career in an often cruel and superficial industry, she was repeatedly cheated and mismanaged, never quite breaking through to superstardom despite such hits as the 1975 wallflower anthem "At Seventeen." In her account, the author sees herself as a perpetual victim: molested by the family dentist as a child, drugged by a stranger on the streets of New York, sexually manipulated by her therapist and various girlfriends, cheated by business managers, persecuted by the IRS, beaten and threatened with death by a psychotic husband. Serious health problems also repeatedly sidelined Ian, including an incapacitating bout of chronic fatigue syndrome. All of which would suggest she is an epic downer to hang out with. As a narrator, though, she proves excellent company, providing fascinating insights into the craft of songwriting and amusing anecdotes about carousing with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. The personal material is equally gripping, in a soap-operatic way, rife with betrayals, sexual intrigue, danger and madness. As evidenced by many of her lyrics (and second career writingscience-fiction stories), Ian is a natural prose stylist with a real knack for pacing and the telling detail. What might have been a dreary catalog of woe is instead a juicily entertaining look at an unusual life in show business. Downbeat yet oddly rollicking and compulsively readable.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585427499
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/3/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 329,669
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Janis Ian is a Grammy Award–winning songwriter, singer, and author. She lives in Nashville with her partner of two decades.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction

Prologue

1 Hair of Spun Gold 1

2 God & the FBI 20

3 Silly Habits 36

4 Society's Child 52

5 Haven's I Got Eyes 82

6 Jesse 108

7 Stars 118

8 This Train Still Runs 141

9 At Seventeen 159

10 Love Is Blind 173

11 Fly Too High 189

12 Arms Around My Life 203

13 His Hands 224

14 When Angels Cry 236

15 My Tennessee Hills 249

16 Stolen Fire 263

17 Days Like These 283

18 Through the Years 305

19 I Hear You Sing Again 318

20 Joy 333

"My Autobiography" 347

Index 351

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 5, 2013

    Thank you Janis Ian for a great autobiography and great music.  

    Thank you Janis Ian for a great autobiography and great music.  You have the gift to transport your readers and listeners to many places of the heart and soul.  You are at the top of my favorite list.  Bravo!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2011

    If you enjoy her music...

    ...you must read Janis Ian's autobiography. Having been a fan for decades now, I had the opportunity to see Janis again recently when she visited Vermont with Tom Paxton. Her songs and stories are timeless treasures. Her biography is honest and heart-wrenching, and like listening to her songs, I just could not stop.
    A true artist... in so many senses of the word.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2008

    What a life!! Gripping and Fascinating!

    We knew she could write beautiful songs that touch our hearts, but when she makes us privy to her life story, the stories behind those songs make them all the more compelling. A book I thought I'd enjoy at a leisurely pace was immediately one I could not put down. I recommend this book to anyone who believes in the American Dream and enjoys reading about it coming true. Adversity, survival, madness, laughter and above all love.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2008

    Once again Janis Ian opens my heart and mind

    I have been a Janis Ian fan and follower since Society's Child first hit the airwaves. Being a couple of years her junior she was mentor, friend, philosopher, artist and the person who first opened my ears to hear and my eyes to see. This book brings it all back again. The insights and the additional stories that fill in some of the blanks of my knowledge about her are great. I felt as though a long lost friend came by to visit and talk about all the old times and what they were doing now. Thank you for the music and thank you for revealing your soul.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    Sample useless

    I thought by reading the sample I could get a feel for the book, but after credits etc., there was only one small page of the actual book. Hardly enough to be called a sample. Dissapointed enough to not buy the book on principal.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)