Society's Child: My Autobiography

  • Title: Society's Child: My Autobiography
  • Author: Janis Ian
  • ISBN: 9781585426751
  • Page: 477
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Society s Child My Autobiography Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter Janis Ian s memoir of her than forty years in the music business Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in at the age of fifteen when her soul wren
    Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter Janis Ian s memoir of her than forty years in the music business Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of fifteen when her soul wrenching song Society s Child became a national hit An intimate portrait of an interracial relationship, Society s Child climbed the charts despite the fact that manyGrammy Award winning singer and songwriter Janis Ian s memoir of her than forty years in the music business Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of fifteen when her soul wrenching song Society s Child became a national 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 life 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 Torm all the while never ceasing to create unforgettable music In Society s Child, Ian shares with readers what it felt like to move in and out of the public eye In 1975 her legendary song At Seventeen earned two Grammy awards and five nominations But during the 1980s she made a conscious decision to walk away from the often grueling music business to study ballet and acting She also struggled through a difficult marriage that ended with her then husband s threat to kill her The hiatus from music lasted for nearly a decade until, in 1993, Ian returned with the release of Breaking Silence Rather than risk losing artistic control, she took out a second mortgage on her home to fund the record It paid off as Breaking Silence gained Ian her ninth Grammy nomination Now in her fifth decade, Ian continues to draw large audiences around the globe Janis Ian has inspired generations of fans and in this moving book she shares the fascinating story of her life in music.

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      Published :2019-07-27T05:22:42+00:00

    About Janis Ian


    1. I was was born April 7, 1951, a month and day shared with Billie Holiday Wrote my first song at 12, was published at 13, made a record at 14, had a hit at 15, and was a has been at 16 I took a break for 3 years shortly thereafter, and moved to Philadelphia to write and find out if I really could be a great songwriter Came back in 1973 with an album called Stars, and was fortunate enough to have a second career.I ve been lucky enough to have nine Grammy nominations in eight different categories, and two Grammys most recently for the spoken word edition of my autobiography, Society s Child I love writing articles, speeches, stories, songs, books I love reading For years, my fans brought me used books on tour in lieu of flowers or jewelry I m 63 going on 64 and thinking about retirement , trying to call it transitioning instead Less time on the road, time to write.I love , books, libraries


    160 Comments


    1. there is something about the overall tone of this book that i find really off-putting, but i cant articulate what it is. if someone else who has read this can give me a hand love her music, the book was just eh.

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    2. Society’s ChildMy AutobiographyJanis IanMY RATING ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️▫️PUBLISHER Audible PUBLISHED June 7, 2012NARRATOR Janis IanA poignant book, written from the heart of a creatively brilliant woman with amazing perseverance. SUMMARYJanis Ian wrote her first song at twelve and was launched into the spotlight in 1966, at 15 when her song Society’s Child became a hit. This was only the beginning of a long and illustrious career for the young genius. Ian chronicles her 40 years in t [...]

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    3. I wish I could give this book six stars.Even if you've never heard of Janis Ian, the story of her life will call to you if you have ever felt lost, marginalized, unheard, or brokenhearted. At the same time that I wanted to scoop her up and hug her and tell her everything was going to be all right, I wanted every hurting and confused sixteen year old girl I know to read this book so that they could see that even when you think it can't get worse, it will; but it will also get much, much better.Ev [...]

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    4. Before Britney Spears, The Jonas Brothers, or Miley Cyrus, there was Janis Ian! Ian was a sixties wunderkind who scored her first single at the age of 15, made millions, lost them, and had both a husband and a wife during her storied lifetime. Unlike many other singers and actors, Ian can actually write, and her autobiography goes down easily in great, gritty gulps of sex, drugs and rock and roll. I especially enjoyed the earlier sections about her hippie-dippy upbringing and summers at "commie" [...]

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    5. I knew very little about Janis Ian's life before I read this book. I had memories of seeing her on TV singing "Society's Child" on a show hosted by Leonard Bernstein and being quite moved by the song. At the tine I was 15 or 16, and so was she. I was mildly familar with "At Seventeen" from hearing it on the radio and with "Jesse" because Joan Baez had recorded it. When I was the branch manager of the Ocean Park Library in Santa Monica in about 1987-1988, Janis lived nearby and was a frequent lib [...]

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    6. Let me start by saying that I love Janis Ian! Her music is beautiful and inspiring! Janis tells a story with every song, in great depth and with a passion that today's "songwriters" (a term I feel is used far too broadly in this day and age) lack in both originality and expression. She is incredibly multi-talented and it is a shame to not introduce her to younger audiences who have no idea what true musical talent really is.That being said, whether you are a fan or not, 'Society's Child:My Autob [...]

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    7. (read as audiobook)Although she's not widely recognized for it, Janis Ian was a pioneer--as a musician, as an admitted and acknowledged lesbian, and as an independent artist making use of the Internet to connect with fans and market her work. All of that gives her story continued relevance. And the personal tragicomedy of it--the romantic drama, the associates who proved untrustworthy, the vindictive IRS agent who pursued her for years over back taxes--makes it fascinating reading.I found that I [...]

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    8. This book came highly recommended and since I enjoy autobiographical works read by the author, I purchased it on Audible. While it's true that having Ms. Ian perform parts of her songs as her narration went along was interesting and innovative, the story she tells is self-aggrandizing to the point of being nauseating. I made it through the first half thinking it would become more self-aware and enjoyable as she became more mature but no such luck. By the time she (*spoiler alert) marries her ex- [...]

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    9. The audio had her songs and is narrated by Janis, herself!

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    10. This is an interesting book by an interesting writer. Janis Ian had her first big hit when still in her teens with the classic "Society's Child," and has had no less than TWO musical comebacks over the course of her career. Who says there are no second acts in American lives? Take that, F. Scott Fitzgerald.Following her life from her very "hippie" upbringing through the present day, this autobiography shows Ian's ups and downs as she deals with fame, personal and professional problems, and all t [...]

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    11. 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 darknes [...]

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    12. I have loved Janis Ian's music for 30 years. But I like it less having read this autobiography, which disappoints me terribly for its endless self-indulgence and frequent deviations into irrelevance or self-justification. It's got one of the best first lines of any autobiography I've read--"I was born into the crack that split America"--but it's all downhill from there. Ian doesn't emerge as a very likable character, alas. I wish her well and am glad her life is finally on track, but in this cas [...]

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    13. Things Janis and I have in common: Born within a year of each other, to secular Jewish parents with Communist links. Started to talk early, started to read early, were told we had genius IQs. Concert-quality pianist fathers who gave us lessons. Younger brothers named Eric. Voracious science fiction readers since childhood. Self-imposed (maybe) identity as a misfit. Under 4'11". Queer.What Janis also had, and has: A very high activity/energy level, copious talent, self-motivation, drive, persiste [...]

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    14. I joined a new library system the other week, and was finally able to get my hands on a copy of this book. (I should've have just gone ahead and bought it since I've been wanting to read it for so long, but oh well.)Ever since I happened upon the song 'Society's Child' a few years back, I have held Janis Ian in high esteem. (Read: I have been a massive fangirl of hers and have spent hours alone listening to or singing her music.) This book just increased my surety that Janis Ian is a matchless a [...]

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    15. The best way to enjoy this book is to listen to the audio version, narrated by Janis. You'll get some wonderful, musical chapter openers from Janis that really set the mood. Janis appears to be a very courageous, positive person, someone to be admired. The only thing that puzzled me is that Janis did not express her feelings concerning the death of her friend, Janis Joplin. She mentioned JJ, but did not mention her feelings after JJ had passed away. I found this odd. But I guess she had her reas [...]

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    16. Ms. Ian said she wanted to write her autobiography as if it'd been written by John Grisham. She suceeded. It's fast-moving, covers a lot of years and deep emotional territory without ever dipping very far into the underlying emotional state of the author. It simultaneously tells you a great deal about this phenomenal singer/songwriter's life while keeping the reader at arms length. Far more moving, and immediate, was the talk about the book I had the fortune to hear her give about the book in Cl [...]

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    17. Another librarian posted an article about Janis Ian's talk at a library conference. It was very moving and so I put her autobiography on hold at the library.It's taken me quite a while to get through it. There was a lot of sadness and sometimes, I just had to put it aside.I have 3 children who are artists of one kind or another. Reading this book about this artist makes me hope for them that they have enough joy and enough success to have a good life without the awfulness of big success.It seems [...]

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    18. From her early stardom to her present circumstances, Janis has written from her heart--even when it was broken. This was the most honest autobiography I've ever read. This book is for anyone who has heard the soulful sounds in her music and wondered where it all came from. Well done!

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    19. I found this an incredibly compelling read. For those who say that it is ego-centric or self indulgentwhat were you expecting? It's a book written BY her about HER life. Autobiographies are, by their very nature, self-indulgent. Ian actually wrote a song making fun of this fact.

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    20. I'm a big Janis Ian fan and hearing herself telling the fantastic story of her rather difficult life, was an uplifting experience!

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    21. If you're considering this book, I highly recommend the audiobook (Audible) version. Janice Ian narrates, and she performs snippets of her own work throughout.

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    22. I enjoyed this autobiography. I knew of Janis Ian's songs, and I remember "At 17" being one of the songs I learned to play on the piano. However, I knew nothing of her life, so this was an interesting story for me. She had quite a lot of unique experiences, both positive and negative, and her book also gave glimpses into the recording industry.I loved the format of having her singing part of one of her songs, and then you would get the part of her life that inspired that particular song. It was [...]

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    23. This is my vote for best book read this year.Ms. Ian tells her story. What can I say, I laughed, I cried What a truly amazing woman. I wish I knew her. I wish I would be interesting enough to introduce myself to her and get to know her more. I didn't know any of her music, but of course I looked her up. She is amazing. Smart, and funny, and despite her opinion that she is not a beauty I think she is just that. I wont give away any of the plot but I will offer the following recommendationsI would [...]

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    24. Society's Child: My Autobiography by Janis Ian (finished 6/14/14): I've been a fan of Janis Ian's music for quite a while. I remember when Society's Child first came out I lived At Seventeen I recall her hiatus from the music business and her triumphant return with Hunger and god & the fbi. I've seen her in concert multiple times (as long-ago as college days at Main Street Cafe in Homestead FL as recent as the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival). In fact, I bought this book at FRFF 2010 when she was [...]

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    25. Society’s Child, by Janis Ian, narrated by the author, produced by Audible Inc downloaded from audible.The publisher’s note says it best. I only wish to add that Janis Ian’s narration is really a performance. She has a wonderful voice for narrating, and whenever she is talking about a particular song, she gives us samples of the song by singing it and accompanying herself with her guitar. It is really a performance. I loved this book and wondered what had happened to Janis Ian.Publisher’ [...]

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    26. The little I thought I knew about Janis Ian was that she had a Black boyfriend when she was young (and sang about the anguish of racist opposition in Society’s Child), she was an ugly and lonely teenager with acne (as she sang about in At Seventeen) and then some time in midlife she came out as lesbian and so I bought my one and only Ian album, Breaking Silence.Ha ha ha ha ha what an dolt! At least I wasn’t alone.Turns out I was wrong on every single thing I thought I knew. And it turns out [...]

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    27. It's very easy to see (or, more appropriately, hear) why Janis Ian won an Audie and a Grammy for this audiobook. It's fantastically produced. I loved the snippets of her songs that she starts each chapter off with and sometimes includes within a chapter too.Her life was fascinating and I loved listening to it. Much of the book, particularly the first half, read like a who's who of the music scene, with Janis dropping names like Bruce Springsteen, Ella Fitzgerald, Janis Joplin, and Pete Seeger li [...]

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    28. SOCIETY’S CHILD. (2008). ****. Janice Ian was one of my idols when I was much younger. Since then, I haven’t heard much about her, but, then, I haven’t been trying to keep up either. In this autobiography, she manages to tell the story of her amazing success and her equally amazing plunge to the depths. She was a smart Jewish girl from New Jersey who had an ear for words and music. She always marched to the beat of a different drummer (or guitarist). Her songs were always soulful, if not d [...]

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    29. Since I have been a Janis Ian fan since Society's Child (the song) came out, I knew that unless the writing was just awful, (and really, how could someone who writes the songs she writes write an awful book?) I was going to enjoy listening to this book. And then she opens the book with “I was born into the crack that split America.” The crack that split America being the generation gap between baby boomers and their parents. And the book goes up hill from there. Ms Ian talks about touring as [...]

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    30. I knew nothing about Janis Ian before I began listening to her autobiography but I was blown away by it. A hit songwriter at 14 she was very different from today's young pop stars. For one thing, she didn't set out to be a star. She set out to be a song writer. Fame was a side benefit/curse. What she showed so clearly (and what is mirrored in today's young stars) is that families don't know how to handle the fame. Janis wasn't looking for sex and drugs. She was looking for an education but her t [...]

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