Resistance: A Songwriter’s Story of Hope, Change, and Courage

Atria. May 2020. 272p. ISBN 9781982104153. $26. MUSIC
Singer-songwriter Amos (b. 1963) chronicles her life and work, starting with her experiences at 13 playing on the Georgetown piano bar circuit. She describes events that influenced her songwriting, including the September 11 terrorist attacks and the death of her mother. Amos also details the development of several of her albums and the sources of her inspiration, which she calls her Muses, which guide her and encourage her to listen and construct. Relevant lyrics from Amos’s songs are interspersed between chapters. Throughout, she emphasizes the importance of stories, including those of her fans, to her music. Amos devotees will recognize the significance of politics and feminism for her music as she weaves current events and songwriting together; she candidly explores sexual assault, self-worth, imperialism, and patriarchy. Amos closes with thoughts on the boundaries of creating and writer’s block.
VERDICT A fascinating window into the creative process of an iconic songwriter, this should resonate with lovers of Amos’s music and encourage other artists.

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