This lyrical biography explores the life and art of Yoko Ono, from her childhood haiku to her avant-garde visual art and experimental music. An outcast throughout most of her life, and misunderstood by every group she was supposed to belong to, Yoko always followed her own unique vision to create art that was ahead of its time and would later be celebrated. Her focus remained on being an artist, even when the rest of world saw her only as the wife of John Lennon. Yoko Ono's moving story will inspire any young ...
This lyrical biography explores the life and art of Yoko Ono, from her childhood haiku to her avant-garde visual art and experimental music. An outcast throughout most of her life, and misunderstood by every group she was supposed to belong to, Yoko always followed her own unique vision to create art that was ahead of its time and would later be celebrated. Her focus remained on being an artist, even when the rest of world saw her only as the wife of John Lennon. Yoko Ono's moving story will inspire any young adult who has ever felt like an outsider, or who is developing or questioning ideas about being an artist, to follow their dreams and find beauty in all that surrounds them.
This is a biography on cultural icon Yoko Ono. It covers her life from beginning to present day. She began life as a privileged youth in Japan, where she felt lonely even though she was surrounded by people. As she aged, her talent for music grew. Her romantic life was a series of love, betrayal (on her part), and divorce. Her career has soared since the death of her husband, John Lennon of the Beatles. She is an artist, musician, and dreamer. She has received lifetime achievement awards for what she has accomplished in her life. This book includes a bibliography, chronology, and an index. This book is written in honor of her 80th birthday, which was in February 2012. It is written in a choppy, difficult style that often confuses the reader. It is as is the authors are speaking down to their audience instead of to it. It would be a hard sell to young adult readers since most teens of this generation have no idea who she is. Reviewer: Barbara Allen
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This beautifully produced, comprehensive, and highly sympathetic biography of the artist covers her entire life, reporting her influences and her accomplishments, and bringing her out from behind the shadow of her famous husband. The broad facts are freely available around the Web, but here they've been organized roughly chronologically and presented in context with descriptions of works that presaged movements in music as well as visual and performance art. Divided into sections representing different life stages, the detailed narrative includes helpful historical background for modern teens and is written in a lively, often colloquial style. Endpapers with the words "Imagine Peace" in the 24 languages in which they are carved on the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland will remind readers of two major themes of Ono's life. The book is liberally illustrated with photographs, but it will take a stretch of readers' own imaginations to understand just how ground- and taboo-breaking her art and life have been. The back matter includes a bibliography that reflects the authors' extensive research, which included an interview with the subject. For those who enjoyed Elizabeth Partridge's John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth (Viking, 2005), this will be a must-read.—Kathleen Isaacs, Children's Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD
On the verge of her 80th birthday (Feb. 18, 2013), Ono steps out of her iconic late husband's shadow for a sympathetic profile. The authors present her as a groundbreaking creative artist whose work has been misunderstood, not to say derided, for decades and who was unjustly vilified as the woman who broke up the Beatles. They describe a comfortable upbringing in Japan and the United States, childhood experiences in World War II and artistic development as part of New York's avant-garde scene in the 1950s and early '60s. The book goes on to chronicle her relationships with various husbands, including "soul mate" John Lennon, and her two children, life as a peace-activist celebrity in the '70s, and (in much less detail) her activities, honors and exhibitions after Lennon's death. The account is occasionally trite ("Yoko and John were stressed to the max") or platitudinous, and it's unlikely to persuade younger (or any) readers to appreciate Yoko's creations--which run to works like an 80-minute film of naked rumps walking by and sets of chess pieces that are all the same color--as great art. Nevertheless, it does impart a good sense of conceptual and performance art's purposes and expressions along with a detailed portrait of a complex woman who for several reasons has a significant place in our cultural history. Even rabid fans of Lennon or the 1960s will find new information and angles in this searching study. (photos, timeline to 2009, resource lists) (Biography. 12-15)
Nell Beram is an editor and reviewer and a former columnist for the Horn Book. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Carolyn Boriss-Krimsky is a visual artist, arts writer, and playwright who published an article about Yoko Ono in Art New England. She lives in New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts.