Upcoming Release

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Janis: Her Life and Music

By Holly George-Warren

(Simon & Schuster, October 2019)

This blazingly intimate biography of Janis Joplin establishes the Queen of Rock & Roll as the rule-breaking musical trailblazer and complicated, gender-bending rebel she was.

Janis Joplin has passed into legend as a brash, impassioned soul doomed by the pain that produced one of the most extraordinary voices in rock history. But in these pages, Holly George-Warren provides a revelatory and deeply satisfying portrait of a woman who wasn’t all about suffering. Janis was a perfectionist: a passionate, erudite musician who was born with talent but also worked exceptionally hard to develop it. She was a woman who pushed the boundaries of gender and sexuality long before it was socially acceptable. She was a sensitive seeker who wanted to marry and settle down—but couldn’t, or wouldn’t. She was a Texan who yearned to flee Texas but could never quite get away—even after becoming a countercultural icon in San Francisco.

Written by one of the most highly regarded chroniclers of American music history, and based on unprecedented access to Janis Joplin’s family, friends, band mates, archives, and long-lost interviews, Janis is a complex, rewarding portrait of a remarkable artist finally getting her due.

****

“In this excellent biography, George-Warren… paints a complex portrait of singer Janis Joplin…. George-Warren beautifully tells a moving story of a woman whose life and music inspired a generation.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“I’ve been waiting for the right person to write the definitive biography of Janis Joplin! All fans should be grateful it’s finally here. Janis lives and breathes freedom and soul, and Holly George-Warren captures that spirit perfectly.”
Rosanne Cash

“By far and away the most comprehensive and best-researched Joplin biography. George-Warren constructs the ‘real’ Joplin by building her life through letters, diaries, and countless interviews with associates. It’s an extraordinary life, set to a legendary rock death arc, but the triumph of Janis is that George-Warren understands that the evolution of Joplin’s artistry is what matters most. Janis blossoms as she finds her voice onstage, and her act becomes something of great beauty. So too does George-Warren’s book.”
Charles R. Cross, New York Times bestselling author of Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix

“Joplin fans rejoice! Holly George-Warren’s biography is a triumph of passionate scholarship, thus making me love Janis—with all her baffling and brilliant complexity—even more.”
David Ritz, author of Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin

Upcoming Release

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What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal

By E. Jean Carroll

(St. Martin’s Press, July 2019)

A darkly funny and very personal attempt to answer the question by America’s longest running advice columnist.

When E. Jean Carroll—possibly the liveliest woman in the world and author of Ask E. Jean in Elle Magazine — realized that her eight million readers and question-writers all seemed to have one thing in common—problems caused by men—she hit the road. Criss-crossing the country with her blue-haired poodle Lewis Carroll, E. Jean stopped in every town named after a woman between Eden, Vermont and Tallulah, Louisiana to ask women the crucial question: What Do We Need Men For?

E. Jean gave her rollicking road trip a sly, stylish turn when she deepened the story, creating a list called “The Most Hideous Men of My Life,” and began to reflect on her own sometimes very dark history with the opposite sex. What advice would she have given to her past selves—as Miss Cheerleader USA and Miss Indiana University? Or as the fearless journalist, television host and eventual advice columnist she became? E. Jean intertwines the stories of the outspoken people she meets on her road trip with her own history of bad behavior (from mafia bosses, media titans, boyfriends, husbands, a serial killer, and others) creating a decidedly dark yet hopeful, hilarious and thrilling narrative. Her answer to the question What Do We Need Men For? will shock men and delight women.

****

“The most bitterly funny, fantastically furious book to explode out of the #metoo moment.”
Dani Shapiro, bestselling author of Family History

“E. Jean Carroll is a force of nature, whose natural vibrancy has held readers in rapture for decades.”
Nina Garcia, Editor-in-Chief, Elle

“E. Jean is a know it all.”
Jane Smiley

“There isn’t another voice out there like E Jean’s.”
Lorraine Candy, Editor-in-Chief, London Sunday Times

****

E. Jean Carroll has written the celebrated monthly advice column “Ask E. Jean” for Elle magazine for over twenty-five years. She has been a contributing editor at Esquire, Outside, and Playboy, and has written for Rolling Stone, GQ, and other publications. She received an Emmy nomination for her writing on Saturday Night Live. She lives in Warwick, NY.

New Release

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No Walls and the Recurring Dream

By Ani DiFranco

(Viking, May 2019)

In her new memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream, Ani DiFranco recounts her early life from a place of hard-won wisdom, combining personal expression, the power of music, feminism, political activism, storytelling, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and much more into an inspiring whole. In these frank, honest, passionate, and often funny pages is the tale of one woman’s eventful and radical journey to the age of thirty. Ani’s coming of age story is defined by her ethos of fierce independence—from being an emancipated minor sleeping in a Buffalo bus station, to unwaveringly building a career through appearances at small clubs and festivals, to releasing her first album at the age of 18, to consciously rejecting the mainstream recording industry and creating her own label, Righteous Babe Records.

In these pages, as in life, she never hesitates to question established rules and expectations, maintaining a level of artistic integrity that has inspired and challenged more than a few. Ani continues to be a major touring and recording artist as well as a celebrated activist and feminist, standing as living proof that you can overcome all personal and societal obstacles to be who you are and follow your dreams.

****

“[P]art feminist and social-justice manifesto, part bracing road story…. [A] deep and thoughtful current runs throughout DiFranco’s memoir.”
The Washington Post

No Walls and the Recurring Dream is unapologetic, steadfast and vulnerable.”
Associated Press

“DiFranco is a natural storyteller, infusing these pages—with their frequent offbeat anecdotes, unusual characters, and significant episodes—with wit, humor, and perspective. . . . [She] has defied convention yet remained true to herself. A must for her fans, this riveting, thought-provoking work will also appeal to anyone who enjoys a well-written autobiography.”
Library Journal, starred review

“[DiFranco] manages to shed new light on how a young, talented woman created enough momentum to slingshot herself beyond her town’s suffocating gravitational pull and create an entirely new solar system, populated with an orbit of planets and moons of her own devising.”
Rolling Stone

****

Ani DiFranco is a Grammy Award-winning singer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, songwriter, activist, and businesswoman. She has released more than 20 albums, and is one of the first independent musicians to create her own label, Righteous Babe Records, www.righteousbabe.com (based in Buffalo, NY). She is widely known as an activist and feminist icon, and the Righteous Babe Foundation supports causes ranging from abortion rights to gay visibility. DiFranco has received eight Grammy Award nominations and won the Best Recording Package Grammy for the album Evolve in 2004. She received the Woody Guthrie Award, as well as the Woman of Courage Award by the National Organization of Women. She is based in New Orleans.

New Release

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Book Reports: A Music Critic on His First Love, Which Was Reading

By Robert Christgau

(Duke University Press, April 2019)

In this generous collection of book reviews and literary essays, legendary Village Voice rock critic Robert Christgau showcases the passion that made him a critic—his love for the written word. Many selections address music from blackface minstrelsy to punk and hip-hop, artists from Lead Belly to Patti Smith, and fellow critics from Ellen Willis and Lester Bangs to Nelson George and Jessica Hopper. But Book Reports also teases out the popular in the Bible and 1984 as well as pornography and science fiction, and analyzes at length the cultural theory of Raymond Williams, the detective novels of Walter Mosley, the history of bohemia, and the 2008 financial crisis. It establishes Christgau as not just the Dean of American Rock Critics, but one of America’s most insightful cultural critics as well.

****

“[A] substantial collection of nearly 100 eclectic, thought-provoking, and idea-laden book reviews. . . . [Christgau's] range of topics is impressive, and his references are prolific. These sprightly, highly opinionated ‘adventures of an autodidact’ reveal Christgau to be a highly literate, astute, and discerning book critic.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Robert Christgau, writing on books, is enthralling and energetic, and as persuasive and argument-sparking as he is on records. He sees them both as entrances into a thousand subject matters, but also as formal objects—that’s to say, books. His stock is his comprehensive confidence, no matter the arena; so often, as declaring The Country and the City to be Raymond Williams’s essential book—he’s stunningly right. Book Reports made me glance at my shelf longingly where a run of compilations of his ‘Consumer Guides: Books of the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s’ (and beyond) might sit, but alas. If we’re not that lucky, we’re lucky enough to have this generous compendium of his longer-form stuff.”
Jonathan Lethem

“You hope any book you read would be insightful, funny, rude, deeply researched, and filled with humanity. Well most books don’t have those qualities, but all of Robert Christgau’s book reviews do.”
Nelson George

****

Robert Christgau has been a rock critic since 1967. A longtime senior editor and chief music critic at The Village Voice, he has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Esquire, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and Blender. He is currently a contributor at BarnesandNoble.com, and his record blog Expert Witness appears every Friday at Noisey. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NAJP senior fellowship at Columbia University, and a Ferris Teaching Fellowship at Princeton, he taught at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music from 2005 to 2016. He lives in New York City.

New Release

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Manual For Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future

By Kate Brown

(W.W. Norton, March 2019)

A chilling exposé of the international effort to minimize the health and environmental consequences of nuclear radiation in the wake of Chernobyl.

Governments and journalists tell us that though Chernobyl was “the worst nuclear disaster in history,” a reassuringly small number of people died (44), and nature recovered. Yet, drawing on a decade of fine-grained archival research and interviews in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, Kate Brown uncovers a much more disturbing story—one in which radioactive isotypes caused hundreds of thousands of casualties.

Scores of Soviet scientists, bureaucrats, and civilians documented stunning increases in cases of birth defects, child mortality, cancers, and a multitude of prosaic diseases, which they linked to Chernobyl. Worried that this evidence would blow the lid on the effects of massive radiation release from weapons testing during the Cold War, international scientists and diplomats tried to bury or discredit it. A haunting revelation of how political exigencies shape responses to disaster, Manual For Survival makes clear the irreversible impact on every living thing not just from Chernobyl, but from eight decades of radiation from nuclear energy and weaponry.

****

“With bountiful, devastating detail, Brown describes how doctors, scientists, and journalists—mainly in Ukraine and Belarus—went to great lengths and took substantial risks to collect information.”
New York Review of Books

“Exemplary … Brown is an indomitable researcher.”
The Observer

“[A] troubling book, passionately written and deeply researched…the book moves from science to thriller and realm of conspiracy… there is no doubt about Brown’s gift for vivid narrative. Her conclusion is chilling.”
Sunday Times

Astonishingly thorough…. [a] revelatory masterpiece.”
Orion

****

Kate Brown is an award-winning historian of environmental and nuclear history, fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, and German. She is the author of Plutopia: Nuclear Families in Atomic Cities and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford 2013). Brown’s most recent book Dispatches from Dystopia: History of Places Not Yet Forgotten was published by University of Chicago Press in 2015. Brown is the recipient of many fellowships, including from the John D. Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for Humanities. Her Chernobyl research has been funded by the American Academy in Berlin, the ACLS, and a 2016-18 Carnegie Fellowship. She is based in Washington, DC, and is a Professor of History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

New Release

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I Never Called It Rape: The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting and Surviving Date and Acquaintance Rape

By Robin Warshaw

(HarperCollins, February 2019)

Featuring a new preface by feminist icon Gloria Steinem, and a new foreword by Salamishah Tillet, PhD, Rutgers University Professor of African American Studies and Creative Writing.

With the advent of the #METOO and Time’s Up movements, and almost daily new reports about rape, both on and off campuses, Robin Warshaw’s I Never Called It Rape is even more relevant today than when it was first published in 1988. The sad truth is that statistics on date rape have not changed in more than thirty years. That our culture enables rape is not just shown by the numbers: the outbreak of complaints against alleged rapists from Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein to Matt Lauer and President Donald Trump has furthered amplified this horrifying reality.

With more than 80,000 copies sold to date, I Never Called It Rape serves as a guide to understanding rape as a cultural phenomenon—providing women and men with strategies to address our rape endemic. It gives survivors the context and resources to help them heal from their experiences, and pulls the wool from all our eyes regarding the pervasiveness of rape and sexual assault in our society.

****

“Essential . . . It is nonpolemical, lucid, and speaks eloquently not only to the victims of acquaintance rape but to all those caught in its net.”
Philadelphia Inquirer

“Painstakingly researched . . . chilling.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Provocative and important.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A devastating portrait of men who rape women they know… based on first-person accounts, scholarly studies and data from a nationwide survey of college campuses.”
Publishers Weekly

****

Robin Warshaw is a writer, ghostwriter and editor specializing in medicine, health, social issues and higher education. Her book, I Never Called It Rape: The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting and Surviving Date and Acquaintance Rape (HarperCollins) was first published in 1988, with a second edition in 1994. She is a member of the Authors Guild, the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) and National Association of Science Writers (NASW).

New Release

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She Begat This: 20 Years of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

By Joan Morgan

(Simon & Schuster, August 2018)

Celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the acclaimed and influential debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill with this eye-opening and moving exploration of Lauryn Hill and her remarkable artistic legacy.

Released in 1998, Lauryn Hill’s first solo album is often cited by music critics as one of the most important recordings in modern history. Artists from Beyoncé to Nicki Minaj to Janelle Monáe have claimed it as an inspiration, and it was recently included in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, as well as named the second greatest album by a woman in history by NPR (right behind Joni Mitchell’s Blue).

Award-winning feminist author and journalist Joan Morgan delivers an expansive, in-depth, and heartfelt analysis of the album and its enduring place in pop culture. She Begat This is both an indelible portrait of a magical moment when a young, fierce, and determined singer-rapper-songwriter made music history and a crucial work of scholarship, perfect for longtime hip-hop fans and a new generation of fans just discovering this album.

****

“Joan Morgan schools like no other. While reading this masterful, rich, and amazingly concise cultural history of the Nina-Simone-Defecating-On-Your-Microphone-Nineties, I learned two lessons. One, you cannot tell the story of Hip Hop or Black womanhood in the 1990s without a deep understanding of the prototype for Black Girl Genius that is Lauryn Hill. And two, you cannot tell the story of Hip Hop or Black womanhood in the 1990s without the fiya-spitting, Jamaican, Bronx-girl pen of Joan Morgan. Lauryn gave us the soundtrack, the artistry, and the permission. Joan and her crew of badass, pioneering Hip Hop journalists, many of whom are featured here, continue to give us the language and the frameworks to understand the singularity of turn-of-the-21st-century Black cultural production. Absent either of these Black girl geniuses, the story is incomplete. Indeed, she begat this.”
Brittany Cooper, author of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

“Pioneer hip-hop feminist Joan Morgan takes on Lauryn Hill, the complicated star whose monumental album changed the world, and we finally get the loving, vibrant, critical attention the artist, her work, and her generation has been due. This book is a listening companion with attitude and a sure-shot conversation starter. You may never hear Ms. Hill the same again.”
Jeff Chang, author of We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation

“The dope shit always needs a remix, if only to be reminded of the brilliance of the original joint. And if you were on the scene back in ‘98, you knew it would be Joan Morgan who would remix The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, because who else would it be but another Caribbean sister stepping in the world fly AF and with the gift of verse? Lauryn might have Begat This, but Joan Morgan is giving it back to us all lovely and new and as vital as it was that summer of ‘98.”
Mark Anthony Neal, Chair of the Department of African & African American Studies at Duke University

“With She Begat This, Joan Morgan brings the full lyrical prowess of her unstoppable flow and ferocious prose to tell the multilayered saga of Lauryn Hill’s seminal masterpiece. Morgan serves up an intimate artistic portrait that is compassionate, unflinching, and imbued with the razor-sharp analysis and from-the-heart truth-telling that made her a legend of hip-hop journalism.”
Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper and Dactyl Hill Squad, winner of the International Latino Book Award

“A new book by Joan Morgan would be cause for celebration whether it was about Lauryn Hill, Bunker Hill, or ant hills. But for hip hop’s founding feminist and most incisive critic to apply the force of her intellect, the power of her memory, and the dexterity of her cultural mixology to a record so fraught with meaning and misunderstanding makes me feel the way I did the first time I heard the needle drop on ‘Lost Ones.’ In fact, I’m dancing with one fist in the air as I write this.”
Adam Mansbach, #1 New York Times bestselling author

****

Joan Morgan is an author and cultural critic who coined the phrase “hip-hop feminism”. Morgan has been a widely sought-after lecturer and commentator on hip-hop and feminism. An award-winning journalist, a provocative cultural critic, she began her professional writing career freelancing for The Village Voice and has been published by Vibe, Interview, Ms., More, Spin, and numerous others. Formerly the executive editor of Essence, she’s currently a PhD candidate in American Studies at New York University and is based in New York City.

New Release

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Women Who Rock: Bessie to Beyonce, Girl Groups to Riot Grrrl

Edited by Evelyn McDonnell

(Black Dog & Leventhal, October 2018)

A stellar and unprecedented celebration of 104 musical artists, WOMEN WHO ROCK is the most complete, up-to-date history of the evolution, influence, and importance of women in music. A gorgeous gift book, it includes a stunning, specially commissioned, full-color illustrated portrait of every musician and group.

From Bessie Smith and The Supremes to Joan Baez, Madonna, Beyonce, Amy Winehouse, Dolly Parton, Sleater-Kinney, Taylor Swift, and scores more, women have played an essential and undeniable role in the evolution of popular music including blues, rock and roll, country, folk, glam rock, punk, and hip hop. Today, in a world traditionally dominated by male artists, women have a stronger influence on popular music than ever before. Yet, not since the late nineteen-nineties has there been a major work that acknowledges and pays tribute to the female artists who have contributed to, defined, and continue to make inroads in music.

In WOMEN WHO ROCK, writer and professor of journalism Evelyn McDonnell leads a team of women rock writers and pundits in an all-out celebration of 104 of the greatest female musicians. Organized chronologically, the book profiles each artist and places her in the context of both her genre and the musical world at large. Sidebars throughout recall key moments that shaped both the trajectory of music and how those moments influenced or were influenced by women artists.

With full-color illustrated portraits by women artists, WOMEN WHO ROCK will be THE long-awaited gift book for every music fan, feminist, and female rocker, young and old musicians.

****

Evelyn McDonnell is the assistant professor of Journalism and New Media at California’s Loyola Marymount University and was a fellow at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Her cultural criticism has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, including Interview, Ms., Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Spin, The Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Vibe and The Los Angeles Review of Books. McDonnell is a former pop music critic for The Miami Herald and senior editor at The Village Voice and associate editor at the San Francisco Weekly. She is based in San Pedro, California.

New Release

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash: The Life and Legacy of the Man in Black

by Alan Light

(Smithsonian Books, October 2018)

“There can never be another Johnny Cash. With close-up images and the big-picture story, this book offers new insight into the life of an American hero.”
–Sheryl Crow

An illustrated biography of Johnny Cash that tells his life story through never-before-seen personal photographs and memorabilia from the Cash family

Johnny Cash: The Life and Legacy of the Man in Black is a Cash biography like no other. It reveals Cash’s personal and professional life through largely unpublished material from the Cash family, including his handwritten notes and lyric sheets; personal photographs of Cash with his family, traveling, and performing onstage; and beloved objects from his home and private recording studio. Alan Light, one of America’s leading music journalists, traces Cash’s story from his origins in rural Arkansas to his early recordings with Sun Records; from his battles with drug dependency and divorce to his romance with June Carter; and from his commercial musical successes, including At Folsom Prison and American Recordings, to his death and legacy. The book also includes vignettes on four sustaining themes of Cash’s life: his musical influences, his social justice advocacy, his relationship with June, and his religious beliefs. Rich and revealing, Johnny Cash: The Life and Legacy of the Man in Black is ideal for all those who want to learn more about the personal side of the beloved performer.

*****

“This resonant book offers far more than an overview of Johnny Cash’s life and legacy: it gets to the very essence of who he was and what his life and music mean. Light’s text reads beautifully and stands as an ideal complement to photos that inspire reveries about the works and days of this extraordinary artist.”
Anthony DeCurtis, author of Lou Reed: A Life

“‘Johnny Cash was like Abraham Lincoln to me,’ John Prine once said. We all agreed, though if Prine had said the same of Elvis or Sinatra, we wouldn’t have, because it wouldn’t have made a damn bit of sense. But with Cash it did. He was a man, an idea, a morality, a way of looking at the world. Though wrapped in contradictions, Cash always stood tall, like he’d come out of the soil, one of nature’s inevitabilities. This book gives us an intimacy with the man. And that’s an accomplishment worth celebrating.”
Warren Zanes, author of Petty: The Biography

*****

ALAN LIGHT has been one of America’s leading music journalists for the past twenty years. He was a writer at Rolling Stone, founding music editor and editor-in-chief of Vibe, and editor-in-chief of Spin magazine. He has been a contributor to the New Yorker, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, and Mother Jones. He is the author of The Skills to Pay the Bills, an oral history of the Beastie Boys, and The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah”; and co-writer of the New York Times-bestselling memoir by Gregg Allman, My Cross to Bear.

New Release

THE ONLY GIRL

The Only Girl: My Life and Times on the Masthead of Rolling Stone

by Robin Green

(Little Brown August 2018)

“A funny, frank, powerful and ultimately moving memoir by an extraordinary writer who didn’t merely roll with the Zeitgeist but remade it in her own image.”
–T. C. Boyle

A raucous and vividly dishy memoir of Robin Green’s sharp ascent from being hired at Rolling Stone to writing cover stories and being the only woman on the masthead in the first years of the magazine’s existence. THE ONLY GIRL is a hilarious yet biting account of working in journalism during the tumultuous late-‘60s and early ‘70s, and about coming of age as a woman in the midst of it. Continue reading