Traveling: On the Path of Joni Mitchell

Dey Street. Jun. 2024. 448p. ISBN 9780062463722. $35. BIOG
NPR music critic Powers (Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music) has written a lyrical biography of 80-year-old singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell’s life, career, and legacy. In her surprisingly personal account of Mitchell, Powers turns the act of documenting someone’s life into an artistic endeavor, which makes this book unlike most other titles in the genre. She executes this by merging biography, memoir, and investigation. Even readers who know the basics of Mitchell’s life will find much more to gain from this volume. Readers will leave with a sense of Mitchell’s interesting past and a new perspective on why she’s relevant now and will likely always be.
VERDICT Experiencing this book is more akin to wandering down a scenic path than traveling a timeline of someone’s life, and there is no other musician better suited for this style of biography than the ever-changing Mitchell. Powers’s highly anticipated title lives up to the hype and is sure to be on many lists of the best books of the year.
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