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Love, Janis Paperback – August 16, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Blues singer Janis Joplin, who died of a heroin overdose in 1970 at the age of 27, is recalled here by her sister, who seems as square as Janis was hip. Although the portrait opens inauspiciously with a yawn-inducing chapter on the family tree, it gains momentum as it describes the performer's adolescence in Port Arthur, Tex. She emerges as a woman who resisted stereotypical feminine behavior; no student, she dropped out of college twice--first to move to Venice, Calif., later to live in San Francisco. Her warm, exuberant, apparently infrequent letters to her concerned family glorify the late-'60s Haight-Ashbury scene, where she gained notoriety and wealth with the band Big Brother and the Holding Company. The book chronicles the singer's drug and alcohol abuse, her famous friends (who included cartoonist Gilbert Shelton and musician Country Joe McDonald) and her overwhelming fame. Despite her sister's occasionally disapproving, jealous tone, fans will welcome this intimate, poignant look at a fondly missed superstar. Photos. 60,000 first printing; first serial to Rolling Stone; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
YA-- Beginning with Joplin's death, focusing backwards for a short family history, and then to the personal and professional life of this blues star, this book is written with both love and objectivity. YAs will identify with the young woman's adolescent angst, her search for purpose, her support of social justice, her friendships, and the seriousness with which she approached both art and life. Joplin's disillusionment with college, her introduction to the music and the Beat scenes in California, and her involvement in drugs and advocation of sexual experimentation are acknowledged, set in context of the turbulent '60s, and accepted as part of Janis. Students should enjoy the conversational text enhanced by interviews with her friends and professional colleagues, the wide variety of personal photos, and most particularly, the large collection of letters written between September 1964-April 1970.
- Barbara Hawkins, Oakton High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I was not disappointed on either count. I thought the author did an exemplary job of building in interesting background information as she described her sister's growing up and rise to stardom. I even liked the chapter on family history as it added perspective to the story. There was some probably unavoidable commentary and short analysis of the sixties era and certain social scenes that were a backdrop to Janis Joplin's career. I don't know if it all was historically accurate or not, but it sounded good to me and I lived through the time. Particularly there was some interesting information on the San Francisco hippie culture.
Although the author had plenty of first hand information from her unique position, I can tell she also put in a lot of legwork interviewing people close to the star. My own relationship with Janis Joplin, prior to reading this book, was mostly one dimensional: her voice to my ears via recordings. (O.K., maybe that's only 1/2 dimensional, since it was all coming one way). Just the same, I have been very happy with that relationship, ecstatic really, forever thrilled. The information in this book is just going to enhance that relationship by giving me a more complete picture of just who the artist was.
One thing this book DID NOT do was answer the question that has always popped into my head when I listen to a Janis Joplin recording: How does she DO that? How does she sing like that? I guess I will never know. I do know that I will love her till the day I die for her having done so, having sung with such heart and feeling just for the sake of our unparalleled listening enjoyment. Thank you Laura Joplin for giving us a glimpse into the everyday life of the great artist.
I have read Piece Of My Heart (Dave Dalton) and Pearl (Ellis Amburn), both of which were good books to read.
But Laura's book tells about Janis growing up, relationships she had with school and college friends. Some of
the men she met along the way who may or may-not have caused her disillusionment.
Laura has letters written by Janis from the early days in San Fransisco, when Big Brother was just starting out
with Janis as a new singer in the band. The letters show a young happy girl, excited about the scene in San Francisco.
Janis's letters describe how the other Haight/Ashbury girls dress, the weird names of the other bands.
Laura writes well and keeps the biogaphy interesting. She was very proud of the book and I can see why. It really
is a great acknowledgement to Janis.
I'm glad Laura wrote the book and I'm glad she shared the letters from Janis with us. It made Janis more real. Not just
a great blues/rock singer, but a real young lady, confused and amazed at how people around her were loving her music. Echols book painted Janis as a loser at school. Laura's book goes deeper into that period and gives a different viewpoint.
She was not an abused child or anything like that. She just wanted to find something she loved and art and singing filled those needs for her.She loved music and to sign. She wsa brave and self-confident although once she secured her music deal with Columbia and Clive Davis, she stayed with the drugs. It's just real SAD! Some people are just born restless or are looking for happiness so hard, and find fame and money isn't enough. She was so young she never gave herself a chance to see what could be over the next horizon if she'd of just held on a few more years becuase everyone changes. She did go to a shirk but that didn't help either. ~
of her younger sister, told quite well with meticulous dating, locations etc. Loved It!