Girls Like Us
Girls Like Us
Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon -- And the Journey of a Generation
Washington Square Press, Paperback, 9780743491488, 584pp.
Publication Date: April 14, 2009
Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important women in popular music. Each woman is distinct. Carole King is the product of outer-borough, middle-class New York City; Joni Mitchell is a granddaughter of Canadian farmers; and Carly Simon is a child of the Manhattan intellectual upper crust. They collectively represent, in their lives and their songs, a great swath of American girls who came of age in the late 1960s. Their stories trace the arc of the now mythic sixties generation female version but in a bracingly specific and deeply recalled way, far from cliche. The history of the women of that generation has never been written until now, through their resonant lives and emblematic songs.
Filled with the voices of many dozens of these women's intimates, who are speaking in these pages for the first time, this alternating biography reads like a novel except it's all true, and the heroines are famous and beloved. Sheila Weller captures the character of each woman and gives a balanced portrayal enriched by a wealth of new information.
"Girls Like Us" is an epic treatment of midcentury women who dared to break tradition and become what none had been before them confessors in song, rock superstars, and adventurers of heart and soul.
"Captivating. A strong amalgam of nostalgia, feminist history, astute insight, beautiful music and irresistible gossip. Weller's grand ambition winds up fulfilled." -- Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Let's get one thing clear right from the start -- this is a fabulous book...Girls like Us unfolds with drama and panoramic detail. Written with a keen journalistic and, more importantly, female eye, [it] works as a healthy, long overdue counterweight to the endlessly repeated, male-sided version of rock 'n roll. Before these women broke the cultural sod during the rock 'n roll years, there were no girls like us. Now there are millions." -- Caitlin Moran, London Sunday Times
"Even at 500-plus pages, the book goes down as easy as a Grisham yarn on a vacation flight... The only flaw to Girls Like Us is that it comes to an end. Few people lead lives as action-packed and spiritually opulent as Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon did during such intensely interesting times. And few writers are able to impart so much freight with such vigor. The towering triumvirate got what it deserves." -- The Toronto Sun
"A page-turner of the first order....a must read." -- The Boston Globe
"As an avid music reader, sometime reviewer, and teen of the '60s myself, I was sure I knew just about everything there was to know about Carole, Joni, and Carly.... But Girls Like Us, an ambitious collective biography by six-time author and magazine journalist Sheila Weller, showed me exactly how much I didn't know. This absorbing, well-reported book chronicles a time when women in all walks of life were exercising new-found freedom. And as icons of that era, nobody did it better." -- Christian Science Monitor
"Both scholarly and dishy. A superb journalist, Weller has managed to uncover a trove of unreported facts on her subjects." -- People **** (Pick of the Week)