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The Creative Odyssey of Joni Mitchell

Regular price $21.00 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781553658375
  • Tags: Katherine Monk, Music & Performing Arts,
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5
  • Published On: 09/07/2012
  • 320 Pages
  • ISBN: 9781553658382
  • Tags: Katherine Monk, Music & Performing Arts,
  • Published On: 09/07/2012
  • 304 Pages

An illuminating portrait of one of Canada's most brilliant and defiant musical icons.

". . . recommended for all fans of Joni Mitchell"—Library Journal, Starred review

From the moment Joni Mitchell's career began—with coffee-house bookings, serendipitous encounters with established stars, and a recording contract that gave her full creative control over her music—the woman from the Canadian wheat fields has eluded industry cliches. When her peers were focused on feminism, Mitchell was plumbing the depths of her own human condition. When arena rock was king, she turned to jazz. When all others hailed Bob Dylan as a musical messiah, Mitchell saw a fraud burdened with halitosis. Unafraid to "write in her own blood," regardless of the cost, Mitchell has been vilified as a diva and embraced as a genius, but rarely has she been recognized as an artist and a thinker.

This new portrait of the reclusive icon examines how significant life events—failed relationships, the surrender of her infant daughter, debilitating sickness—have influenced her creative expression. Katherine Monk captures the rich legacy of her multifaceted subject in this offbeat account, weaving in personal reflections and astute cultural observations, and revealing the Mitchell who remains misunderstood.

Katherine Monk is a national movie journalist for Postmedia News Service. Before becoming a national reporter, she worked at the Vancouver Sun as a movie critic, pop music critic, and news reporter. Her bestselling book on Canadian film, Weird Sex and Snowshoes, was adapted to the screen by Omni Film in 2004. Monk is a regular radio and TV commentator on the subject of movies. Joni Mitchell has been part of her life's soundtrack for as long as shecan remember. She lives in Vancouver, B.C.


"Katherine Monk deftly alternates between dense though accessible cultural theory and colourful anecdotes of Mitchell's life and times. In that, she produces a significant cultural reading of Mitchell that is also cleverly entertaining. Monk's colloquial first-person treatment of Mitchell's life is refreshing and often hilarious." -Nicky Mehta, Winnipeg Free Press

"Monk lifts the veil on her fellow countrywoman. Her account of Mitchell's dramatic rise to fame and countless love affairs, which inspired her songs, makes for a riveting read." -Christian Science Monitor, Top Pick

"Essential for the Joni Mitchell superfan, and even people more casually acquainted with her work may enjoy what they learn." -Publishers Weekly

"I devoured this book - thrilling, dimensional, thorough; a gift to any Joni Mitchell fan; an in-depth portrait of the life of an artist. It felt oddly like tracking my own genealogy, as Joni Mitchell, unbeknownst to her, raised me from a very early age." -Edie Falco, star of Nurse Jackie and The Sopranos

"Monk's [Joni] is the closest thing to essential reading . . . This unique and thoughtful biography is recommended for all fans of Joni Mitchell.” -Library Journal, Starred review

"The way that Monk writes freely about topics that aren’t directly linked to the plain facts of Mitchell’s biography . . . at first seems tangential, but it comes to be one of the best aspects of the book."