Joni: The Creative Odyssey of Joni Mitchell

Joni: The Creative Odyssey of Joni Mitchell

by Katherine Monk


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From the moment Joni Mitchell's career began — with coffee-house bookings, serendipitous encounters with established stars, and a recording contract that gave her full creative control over her music — the woman from the Canadian wheat fields has eluded industry cliches. When her peers were focused on feminism, Mitchell was plumbing the depths of her own human condition. When arena rock was king, she turned to jazz. When all others hailed Bob Dylan as a musical messiah, Mitchell saw a fraud burdened with halitosis. Unafraid to "write in her own blood," regardless of the cost, Mitchell has been vilified as a diva and embraced as a genius, but rarely has she been recognized as an artist and a thinker.

This new portrait of the reclusive icon examines how significant life events — failed relationships, the surrender of her infant daughter, debilitating sickness — have influenced her creative expression. Author Katherine Monk captures the rich legacy of her multifaceted subject in this offbeat account, weaving in personal reflections and astute cultural observations, and revealing the Mitchell who remains misunderstood.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781553658375
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication date: 10/23/2012
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.64(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Katherine Monk is a national movie journalist for Postmedia News Service. Her journalism career includes stints as a movie critic, pop music critic, and news reporter. Her bestselling book on Canadian film, Weird Sex and Snowshoes, was adapted to the screen by Omni Film in 2004. Joni Mitchell has been part of her life's soundtrack for as long as she can remember. She lives in Vancouver.

Table of Contents

Introduction viii

• ne | Lady Looked Like a Dude: Impersonation and Identity 1
two | Facing Down the Grim Reaper: Illness and Survival 27
three | Baby Bumps: Expecting and Expectation 48
four | Woodstock: Myth and Mythmaking 88
five | Business and Bullshit 104
six | Gods and Monsters 136
seven | Love: The Big Production 193
eight | I’m Okay, You’re O’Keeff e 218
nine | Sing Shine Dance 232

Afterword 257
Acknowledgements 259
Notes 262
Bibliography 275
Index 279

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"I devoured this book—thrilling, dimensional, thorough; a gift to any Joni Mitchell fan; an in-depth portrait of the life of an artist. It felt oddly like tracking my own genealogy, as Joni Mitchell, unbeknownst to her, raised me from a very early age."
— Edie Falco, star of Nurse Jackie and The Sopranos

"The way that Monk writes freely about topics that aren’t directly linked to the plain facts of Mitchell’s biography... at first seems tangential, but it comes to be one of the best aspects of the book."—

"Essential for the Joni Mitchell superfan, and even people more casually acquainted with her work may enjoy what they learn"—Publishers Weekly

"Monk's [Joni] is the closest thing to essential reading. … This unique and thoughtful biography is recommended for all fans of Joni Mitchell.”—Library Journal, Starred review

"[Monk] lifts the veil on her fellow countrywoman. Her account of Mitchell's dramatic rise to fame and countless love affairs, which inspired her songs, makes for a riveting read."— Christian Science Monitor, Top Pick

"With clear-cutting language and an encyclopedic rock knowledge, Monk pursues the project with the laser-sharp focus of an anthropologist, digging for a more genuine portrait of the love-song-singing ingenue. insightful read from cover to cover"—Boxx Music Magazine

Customer Reviews