Society's Child

  • by Janis Ian
  • Narrated by Janis Ian
  • 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award, Narration by the Author or Authors, 2013
Grammy Award Winner, Best Spoken Word Album, 2013 Booklist Top 10 Biography Audiobooks

Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of 15, 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 40 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, which 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.

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What the Critics Say

"Hugely readable." (O: The Oprah Magazine)
"Each chapter in this mesmerizing memoir begins with an evocative lyric read and sung by Ian, who transports listeners back in time with both words and music.... Hard to put down." (Booklist (starred review)
"Juicilly entertaining." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The life and times of some of my favourite songs

When I was 17 years old a girl friend gave me the album At Seventeen the song is a girls point of view of the world it changed my male perspective of the world and has been with me from LP to tape, CD and MP3 accompanying me through my life like so much music; but of the girl that wrote those songs I knew nothing, so when I heard that she had written her biography I decided I had to listen to it.
Well it was great, sad, interesting, and entertaining. (I invited my wife to hear the story with me and she loved it though she is not as interested in her music as I am).
One of the things I love is that she introduces some of the chapters by singing the song or song she was working on in that period. It is a very personal and candid story that meanders like all our lives through highs and lows and the particular idiosyncrasies of her times.
I loved the young girl that sang to me. I respect the woman she became.
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- Wras "Kildonan by the sea"

The Story That Becomes Your Own

What does Janis Ian bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

It's an exhilarating, depressing, exciting, inspiring story of a woman gifted with a wonderful song-writing talent. Reading the book would have been a pleasure, of that I am sure. Now imagine for a second the woman herself telling her story to you. Over dinner, while commuting, in the park. Singing her best songs to you, playing her father's Martin guitar. That's Janis Ian reading her autobiography. If you want an audiobook that will get stuck in your heart for the rest of your life, this is it.


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- Ernesta Orlovaitė

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-06-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios