Girls Like Us by Sheila Weller
Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon---and the Journey of a Generation

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Synopsis

A groundbreaking and irresistible biography of three of America's most important musical artists—Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon—charts their lives as women at a magical moment in time.

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 cliché. 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.
 

About Sheila Weller

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Sheila Weller is the senior contributing editor at Glamour, writes on social history for Vanity Fair, was a contributing editor at New York, and has written for Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, Redbook, Ms., and the New York Times Book Review. She is also the author of six books-two of which are New York Times bestsellers: Dancing at Ciro's, a family memoir, and Marrying the Hangman, which is about the 1987 New York murder of Harpers assistant and fiction writer Diane Whitmore Pikul. Her 1995 account of the marriage of O. J. and Nicole Brown Simpson, Raging Heart, gave the case a major prosecution witness, was entered into the trial, and was at the top of the national news upon its publication. And her lauded Saint of Circumstance revealed five additional victims of "preppy rapist" Alex Kelly. For her magazine work, Weller is the winner of six New York Newswomen's Club Front Page Awards. She also won a 2006 Exceptional Merit in Media Award from the National Women's Political Caucus and a third place award from the National Association of Black Journalists for her reporting in Mississippi, for Glamour, on the fortieth anniversary of the Schwerner-Chaney-Goodman murders. Susan Ericksen is an actress who performs on stage and television. An Audie Award and AudioFile Earphones Award winner, Susan has recorded many audiobooks, including Naked in Death by J. D. Robb and Savannah Blue by Mary Kay Andrews.
 
Published April 8, 2008 by Atria Books. 593 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Yet the author’s research has unearthed so much little-known material (including King’s “Rick One/Rick Two period”: successive marriages to Idaho mountain men) that her account is essential for understanding how three female superstars survived male chauvinism, romantic disaster and late-career n...

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The New York Times

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At long last it’s time to acknowledge that even if women who enjoyed “that glamorous little wedge” of early 1970s feminism — “between the fiercely anti-‘sex object’ early feminism and the so-called padded-shoulder ‘power suit’ feminism of later years” — would have cited Billie Holiday as a grea...

Apr 17 2008 | Read Full Review of Girls Like Us: Carole King, J...

The New York Times

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'Girls Like Us,' by Sheila Weller: Heroines in the Footlights, From All Sides Now (April 17, 2008) Times Topics: Carole King Times Topics: Joni Mitchell Times Topics: Carly Simon King wrote much of the melody for “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” during the course of an afternoon.

Apr 27 2008 | Read Full Review of Girls Like Us: Carole King, J...

The New York Times

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How you feel about Sheila Weller’s “Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon — and the Journey of a Generation” may depend on how you respond to Weller’s dedication, which reads: “To the women of the 1960s generation.

Apr 27 2008 | Read Full Review of Girls Like Us: Carole King, J...

The Guardian

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Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller Ebury Press £18.99, pp582 Imagine a book entitled Boys Like Us, a study of the overlapping careers of three sensitive male singer-songwriters who came of age in the late Sixties, voiced the ho...

Apr 13 2008 | Read Full Review of Girls Like Us: Carole King, J...

Publishers Weekly

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The epic story of three generational icons, this triple biography from author and Glamour senior editor Weller (Dancing at Ciro's) examines the careers of singer-songwriters Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon, whose success reflected, enervated and shaped the feminist movement that grew u...

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USA Today

Reading Girls Like Us, Sheila Weller's juicy tri-ography of three very different women who helped define a creatively and socially charged era in pop music and culture, you can't help but be infected by the author's giddy enthusiasm for her subjects.But you also can't avoid a nagging question: Wo...

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Open Letters Monthly

It’s the kind of story that might play a central or even mythical role in anyone’s life, even if that person didn’t grow up to be one of the definitive artists of her time, one who would, to her own frustration, receive her greatest acclaim for the work seen as the most “personal” or “confessiona...

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PopMatters

Coconut Grove, a magnet for Mitchell in 1968, is not “an arty section of Miami Beach.” She also writes that King’s “Now and Forever” shares the same title with an earlier anthem Simon wrote titled “Tonight and Forever.” Those aside, any writers planning to write a celebrity bio should follow Well...

Apr 30 2008 | Read Full Review of Girls Like Us: Carole King, J...

Bookmarks Magazine

Steve Morse Christian Science Monitor 4 of 5 Stars "Weller relies on the recollections of former spouses, lovers, friends, and mentors to paint portraits of these three women whose private love affairs, heartbreak, and tumultuous relationships profoundly informed their public art.

Apr 10 2008 | Read Full Review of Girls Like Us: Carole King, J...

Monsters and Critics

A groundbreaking and irresistible biography of three of America\'s most important musical artists -- Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon -- charts their lives as women at a magical moment in time.Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important wome...

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Oprah.com

Tell us what you think of the February issue and be entered to win a $5,000 gift card!

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Oprah.com

Carly Simon, the uninhibited urban romantic, "sexy and uptown hip": Sheila Weller's Girls Like Us (Atria) reveals how these three astonishingly talented women who came of age in the 1960s reinvented themselves over the next decade—artistically, socially, sexually, politically—and gave voice to a ...

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