Love, Janis: A Revealing New Biography of Janis Joplin with Never-Before-Published Letters

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9780679416050: Love, Janis: A Revealing New Biography of Janis Joplin with Never-Before-Published Letters

Janis Joplin's sister uses newly discovered letters to chronicle the singer's life, discussing her restless teen years, involvement in the hippie scene at Haight-Ashbury, sexual experimentation, drug use, career, and death. 60,000 first printing. Tour.

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From AudioFile:

Janis Joplin's sister has fashioned a biography from the letters Janis wrote to her family during her turbulent career. The book articulates the confusion of this artist's life in the drug culture of the late sixties. Winger makes little vocal distinction between Laura's narrative and Janis's letters. Winger's voice is simultaneously gravelly, sexy and raw, yet sweet and charming. It suitably conveys the pathos of Janis Joplin, a young star who wrote home about the lifestyle that killed her. One wishes for more than a few innocuous bars of Joplin's music at the program's conclusion. D.W.K. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

From Kirkus Reviews:

Joplin pens a bio of her legendary older sister that's more detailed and evenhanded, yet much less dramatic and emotionally raw, than Myra Friedman's bestselling Buried Alive (1973)--and includes the rock star's unpublished letters home, more revealing for Janis's aren't-you-proud-of-me? eagerness of tone than for their contents. Describing Janis's early life and influences, especially the high cultural and educational ideals of her parents, Joplin sometimes employs a tone of stuffy propriety that seems decidedly strange--after all, this is Janis Joplin she's describing. Getting into Janis's years at the Univ. of Texas, however, Joplin rises to the task. She debunks the tale that Janis was voted ``Ugly Man on Campus'' (she was nominated by friends, not detractors, and she didn't win). But Janis was plenty tormented and complex, and we get the impression that her life would have been all booze and unfocused angry rebellion and squalor if it hadn't been for Ken Threadgill, the Austin barkeep who recognized her extraordinary musical gifts and launched her career. Once in San Francisco, Janis teamed up with a ragged, soulful band called ``Big Brother and the Holding Company,'' and all her untamable demons channelled into her art. Her performances were electric. One West Coast critic called Janis a ``shaman woman,'' and Janis didn't disagree: ``I do believe in some very amorphous things that happen when you're onstage...like something moves in the air.'' At once narcissistic and sensitive, hard-driven and childlike, the Janis that emerges here was trapped by her ``get it while you can'' image--and she apparently thought heroin oblivion was her only way out. A thorough, restrained account of an extraordinary rise and fall. (Thirty-two pages of b&w photographs--not seen.) -- Copyright 1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Joplin, Laura
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