The gifted, adventurous musician talks as brilliantly as she writes and sings.

JONI MITCHELL

IN HER OWN WORDS

Three deep-running interviews with singer-songwriter Mitchell, by singer-journalist Marom.

Conducted in 1973, 1979 and 2012, these are more conversations than interviews; Mitchell picks up Marom’s questions and turns them about as she fashions an answer. She is as candid here as she is sometimes cryptic in her lyrics: revelatory, nervy, emotionally and existentially raw. She doesn’t belabor her romantic relationships (as Rolling Stone was fond of doing) but fills in blanks about her younger days, alone and pregnant and destitute in Toronto, strumming her way to the big stage via a ukulele and weeks of practice. Mitchell is happier, it seems, talking about Nietzsche, Jung and the I Ching or summoning what it is like to be uniquely alive on stage: “One of the things I have had to battle is an almost euphoric feeling….You’re up there alone and receiving all this mass adoration, and you’re liking it.” She bluntly shatters her fantasy-princess stereotype and speaks, without ornament, about a variety of issues. She blazes contempt for the ignorance of our species, speaks up for the role of depression in her art, and considers the discomfiture of affluence and the meaning of work. About her career arc? Q: “What was actually the turning point?” A: “Turning point? I don’t see it as a turning point. I see it as a long, very slow gradual spectrum….” In a later interview, she rejects the onstage sublimity she once discerned. “I was never addicted to applause....The measure for me was the art itself.” But at any moment she can dive into the miracle of making music: “The great things nearly always come on the edge of an error. What comes after the error is spectacular.”

The gifted, adventurous musician talks as brilliantly as she writes and sings.

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-7704-1132-6

Page Count: 344

Publisher: ECW Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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