- Expected May 5, 2020
A timely and passionate call to action for engaging with our current political moment, from the Grammy-nominated and multiplatinum singer-songwriter and New York Times bestselling author Tori Amos.
Since the release of her first, career-defining solo album Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos has been one of the music industry’s most enduring and ingenious artists. From her unnerving depiction of sexual assault in “Me and a Gun” to her post-September 11 album, Scarlet’s Walk, to her latest album, Native Invader, her work has never shied away from intermingling the personal with the political.
Amos began playing piano as a teenager for the politically powerful at hotel bars in Washington, DC, during the formative years of the post-Goldwater and then Koch-led Libertarian and Reaganite movements. The story continues to her time as a hungry artist in Los Angeles to the subsequent three decades of her formidable music career. Amos explains how she managed to create meaningful, politically resonant work against patriarchal power structures—and how her proud declarations of feminism and her fight for the marginalized always proved to be her guiding light. She teaches us to engage with intention in this tumultuous global climate and speaks directly to supporters of #MeToo and #TimesUp, as well as young people fighting for their rights and visibility in the world.
Filled with compassionate guidance and actionable advice—and using some of the most powerful, political songs in Amos’s canon—this book is for anyone determined to steer the world back in the right direction.
Musician Amos (Piece by Piece) discusses creating music during turbulent times in this soulful memoir. At age five, Amos began studying music at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Md., and, in 1977, at 13, was playing piano in bars in Washington, D.C., a city where "supposedly moral men" were "laying the groundwork for a compromised future." She writes of playing songs such as 1990's "Little Earthquakes" at recent concerts as a way to help people "process the shock of the Trump presidency," and describes how she will often rework set lists to accommodate fan requests. A self-described "feminist soldier," Amos often speaks in exalted terms about her craft and the "Muses" that guided her as she recorded songs including "Girl," about female oppression, and "Ophelia," which addresses survivors of sexual trauma. She calls songwriters "sonic hunters" and assigns the pronoun she to her songs (" Girl' had not yet been written, but she was listening from the ether"). A New Agey vibe sometimes surfaces within discussions of contemporary events, as Amos emphasizes the role artists have to play in society: "We must Out-Create destruction." This memoir and call to action will delight Amos's many fans.