We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Society's Child Audiobook

Society's Child: My Autobiography

Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of 15, when her soul-wrenching song "Society's Child" became a hit. But this was only the beginning of a long and illustrious career. In Society's Child, Janis Ian provides a relentlessly honest account of the successes and failures - and the hopes and dreams - of an extraordinary life.
    • 1 audiobook per month
    • 180,000+ titles to choose from
    • $14.95 per month after free trial

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award, Narration by the Author or Authors, 2013

Grammy Award Winner, Best Spoken Word Album, 2013

Booklist Top 10 Biography Audiobooks

Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of 15, when her soul-wrenching song "Society's Child" became a hit. An intimate portrait of an interracial relationship, "Society's Child" climbed the charts despite the fact that many radio stations across the country refused to play it because of its controversial subject matter. But this was only the beginning of a long and illustrious career.

In this fascinating memoir of her more than 40 years in the music business, Ian chronicles how she did drugs with Jimi Hendrix, went shopping for Grammy clothes with Janis Joplin, and sang with Mel Tormé, all the while never ceasing to create unforgettable music.

In 1975, Ian's legendary "At Seventeen" earned two Grammy awards and five nominations. Her next two albums brought her worldwide platinum hits. But after seven albums in as many years, she made a conscious decision to walk away from the often grueling music business. During this period, she struggled through a difficult marriage, which ended with her then husband's attempt to destroy her, and a sudden illness that very nearly cost her her life. The hiatus from music lasted for close to a decade until, in 1993, Ian returned with the release of the Grammy-nominated Breaking Silence. Now, as she moves gracefully into her fifth decade as a recording artist and writer, Ian continues to draw large audiences around the globe.

In Society's Child, Janis Ian provides a relentlessly honest account of the successes and failures - and the hopes and dreams - of an extraordinary life.

©2008 Janis Ian (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Each chapter in this mesmerizing memoir begins with an evocative lyric read and sung by Ian, who transports listeners back in time with both words and music." (Booklist)

More from the same

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (603 )
5 star
 (307)
4 star
 (167)
3 star
 (88)
2 star
 (22)
1 star
 (19)
Overall
4.2 (555 )
5 star
 (275)
4 star
 (163)
3 star
 (78)
2 star
 (23)
1 star
 (16)
Story
4.5 (554 )
5 star
 (359)
4 star
 (123)
3 star
 (46)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (10)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    John 02-12-13
    John 02-12-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    135
    36
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well done"

    Really enjoyed this audiobook and the story of Janis Ian. Highly recommend to anyone with an interest in singer/songwriters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl 11-24-13
    Carl 11-24-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Always Someone Else's Fault"

    I should like this as I like many music biographies, given the large number of excellent reviews. While the narration was fine, the story was marred for me by blaming anyone but herself for any setbacks. Maybe it's because, other than a couple songs, I'm not really a fan of her music. Don't regret trying the audiobook,but didn't finish.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara 01-24-16
    Sara 01-24-16 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "WONDERFUL experience"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    A fantastic story- much more than another performer made-it. I had no idea her life was so incredible, so much to overcome, what a wonderful person!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Society's Child?

    Her first hit at 14, continued productivity into her 60's. And all that happened to her.


    What about Janis Ian’s performance did you like?

    Each chapter began with her singing part of a song that worked with that chapter. And she read the book as if she wrote it... oh, yes, she did!!!


    Any additional comments?

    I bought the book on sale thinking it sounded "okay." Other than "At 17" I couldn't have named any of her songs before reading the book. What a delightful surprise! Her life is amazing; she is amazing! And because she read the book, it was even more alive. I loved the song clips sung at the beginning of the chapters. A must "read" (listen).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liz 12-06-15
    Liz 12-06-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You never know."

    I was a fan of Janis Ian for many years without the knowledge of her trials and tribulations. Ms. Ian's autobiography is an eye opener for those of us who think a few hit records makes for a cozy life. Her voice made for easy listening and her music throughout was a wonderful touch. I am a big fan of this book and the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    V. Pack 12-01-15
    V. Pack 12-01-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good thing Janis didn't want to be an actor."

    I'll be blunt. Ms. Ian's ego is huge. She spends an uncomfortable amount of time telling us how intelligent she is. Her narration is just painfully bad. Her story is downright boring. Sorry, I can't recommend this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    OttawaShopper11 Ottawa, Ontario 11-09-15
    OttawaShopper11 Ottawa, Ontario 11-09-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it"

    What an amazing and unexpected life! The book is a slow starter but stick with it because what follows is a story worth hearing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer USA 08-18-15
    Amazon Customer USA 08-18-15

    M

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Performance of a Wonderful Autobiography"

    Impeccable performance of a moving story of an unusual life.

    There's more to Janis Ian Tyan just your memories of "At Seventeen."" Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara A Bucher Reno, NV United States 06-27-15
    Barbara A Bucher Reno, NV United States 06-27-15 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved this!"

    I have always been a fan. Janis story was sad and amazing what a journey. Love her and her music more than ever

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Irwin-Pinkley 04-11-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome read!"

    I really enjoyed this book. Hearing Janis tell her story is what made it work. I could hear her sadness and her joy in her words. She survived so many life experiences...I understand that each step one takes contributes to what one becomes, but I had no idea there had been so many ups and downs in this artist's life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Beechey 03-19-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "loved it!"

    very enjoyable to listen to, not always a happy story but it's told well with a sprinkling of Janis singing here and there

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.