Book Reviews · Books

Love, Janis

Love, Janis is a luminous, poignant portrait of the late singer that could only have been painted by someone personally close and yet sufficiently removed from the hot flame of Janis’ incredible career to render an affectionate, discerning picture. The artist of this portrait, Janis’ younger sister Laura, marshals the details of their shared upbringing in hardscrabble Port Arthur, Texas. In loving detail, she weaves the threads of their ancestry, their parents, and their youth–with inklings of Janis’ future superstardom–into the tapestry of Janis’ early life.

Janis’ transition from small-town girl to worldwide rock star is meticulously researched and uniquely informed by the exclusive sisterhood of Janis and Laura. Told chronologically, the story unfolds in ways that are alternately surprising, delightful, funny, tragic, and ultimately hopeful. Janis’ letters home during the height of her career illustrate the tension between the demands of worldwide fame and fidelity to her roots and family.

There may be other books about Janis, but none could be told as lovingly or comprehensively.

Postscript: While this isn’t strictly a blog post about the future of work, it is related to my career in that field– Laura Joplin was the organizer of my 2013 TEDx talk in Chico, California and gave me valuable tips about successful delivery.

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