Reckless Daughter

Reckless Daughter

A Portrait of Joni Mitchell

Book - 2017
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Joni Mitchell is a cultural touchstone for generations of Canadians. In her heyday she released ten experimental, challenging, and revealing albums; her lyrics captivated people with the beauty of their language and the rawness of their emotions, both deeply personal to Mitchell and universally relatable to her audience. In this intimate biography, composed of dozens of in-person interviews with Mitchell, David Yaffe reveals the backstory behind the famous songs from her youth on the Canadian prairie, her pre-vaccine bout with polio at age nine, and her early marriage and the child she gave up for adoption, up through the quintessential albums and love affairs, and all the way to the present?and shows us why Mitchell has so enthralled her listeners, her lovers, and her friends.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario :, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd,, [2017]
Edition: First Canadian edition
ISBN: 9781443444811
Branch Call Number: 781.66 MIT
Characteristics: xvi, 420 pages, 8 pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Portrait of Joni Mitchell


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ArapahoeJulieH Dec 13, 2018

David Yaffe has written a fascinating biography of the extraordinary Joni Mitchell. This is a tribute to Joni's genius as well as the genesis of her songwriting and her influence on many of the biggest names to come out of the ‘60's and ‘70's musical renaissance. Highly recommend this book for anyone who is a Joni fan and/or nostalgic about the era!

Sep 24, 2018

Having a good laugh over sheojuk's "review". I'm not quite sure but I think writing "some iconic songs" is not that easy and there are plenty of books about all the others who have written "iconic songs" too (and plenty about others who have not). This isn't the greatest book I've ever read, but it isn't the worst. Always fun to see someone insult the author AND the subject!

Apr 01, 2018

I'm not sure what book the other commenters were reading, but I found this to be the most disjointed, repetitive, confusing collection of anecdotal fragments and unfinished stories I have ever read. Joni is the ultimate snowflake- every encounter is a slight; her genius is never recognized; every relationship ends in acrimony. Situations are described up to the point of Joni declaring them "intolerable", at which point... they are dropped, and we move on to another song, another lover, another slight. Repeat. Repeat.

Joni Mitchell wrote some iconic songs. So did many other people. The book made me think many of the quotes had been taken from third-party sources, pasted on note cards, shuffled repeatedly, and published as a book. It is disappointing to read others finding this good journalism. I agree with the London Review of Books review that it is one endless gush, and nothing more. Portrait of a snowflake, by a flake.

Nov 24, 2017

It is more than rare to find a skilled biographer who is also a well-schooled musician, but in David Yaffe we have both. This is a serious work by a serious writer about a strong, complex, genius of an artist who made solid contributions to virtually every popular genre of music embraced in the second half of the 20th century. This bio is a dream for the serious musician, but is also eminently readable as the portrait of a fascinating and unique individual.

Nov 15, 2017

This is the Joni book I've been waiting for: a 3-D chronological telling from many interviews and from her colleagues, especially the jazz guys who worked with her. I am eager to read the second half and have it on hold. Got a great review in the Atlantic.

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