Society's Child: My Autobiography

Society's Child: My Autobiography

by Janis Ian (Read by)

Audiobook(CD - Library Edition)

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Winner of the 2013 Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album

Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at age fifteen, when her soul-wrenching song about an interracial relationship, “Society’s Child,” became a hit. The song 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. Society’s Child is Ian’s fascinating personal account of her more than forty years in the music business.

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 music business and devote herself to writing. 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, and she has been making unforgettable music ever since. In Society’s Child, she provides a relentlessly honest account of the successes and failures, the hopes and dreams, of an extraordinary life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469255552
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 10/02/2012
Edition description: Library Edition
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Janis Ian has been writing and performing songs for more than five decades. She received her most recent Grammy nomination in 2016, totaling ten in her career. In 2013 she won the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for her audiobook, Society’s Child.

Table of Contents

Introduction     xi
Prologue     xiii
Hair of Spun Gold     1
God & the FBI     20
Silly Habits     36
Society's Child     52
Haven's I Got Eyes     82
Jesse     108
Stars     118
This Train Still Runs     141
At Seventeen     159
Love Is Blind     173
Fly Too High     189
Arms Around My Life     203
His Hands     224
When Angels Cry     236
My Tennessee Hills     249
Stolen Fire     263
Days Like These     283
Through the Years     305
I Hear You Sing Again     318
Joy     333
"My Autobiography"     347
Index     351

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Society’s Child is the hugely readable autobiography of an artist who has lived through success and crushing hardship but knows that ‘you can’t sing and cry at the same time.’ Sing on!”
O, The Oprah Magazine

“Painfully candid . . . hard to put down.”
Booklist (starred review)

“A juicily entertaining look at an unusual life in show business."Downbeat yet oddly rollicking and compulsively readable.”
Kirkus Reviews

"Deftly written, the life experiences described by Janis Ian in this engaging memoir gives us a peek into the anatomy of a brilliant songwriter'
—Joan Baez

"One of life's greatest pleasures is a book that you simply can't put down—one that transports you from start to finish as it elevates, enlightens, engages and entertains. Janis Ian gives you all this in Society's Child."
—Kitty Kelley

"A splendid retelling of a major life! Janis Ian is a survivor, and her book is an illuminating and inspiring read."
—Anne McCaffrey

"Janis Ian is at once larger-than-life and excruciatingly human. In Society's Child she describes great triumphs, devastating betrayals of every kind, and her extraordinary strength of spirit shines through every page."
—Kathy Mattea

"A book of surpassing clarity and truth."
—Orson Scott Card, author of Ender's Game

"I laughed, I ached, I wept, I cheered...and ultimately was totally taken by Janis Ian's honest and deeply moving autobiography: an insightful and courageous personal account of her musical, spiritual and emotional journey."
—Noel Paul Stookey, of Peter, Paul & Mary


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Society's Child: My Autobiography 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
MountainGirls More than 1 year ago
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!
CYinVT More than 1 year ago 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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Whisper1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Highly RecommendedWhile listening to Janis Ian perform at a local Musikfest, I took a wonderful, magical trip down memory lane. I purchased a copy of her recently released autobiography and read it in one sitting -- late into the wee morning hours.I know the words to all the songs and now it is a special gift to hear the stories behind some of them and to learn the twists and turns of her journey.Her well-written, insightful book shines a bright light in the corners of the rough spots of darkness of her life. Her vulnerability is profound. While writing in a non melodramatic fashion, she quietly invites the reader to sit beside her as she unravels the joys, the sadness, the blessings and the mysteries.She touched our hearts years ago when she learned some truths at seventeen, and now, this incredible woman continues to share some of the truths she has discovered throughout her life.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.