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

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

Tori Amos. Atria, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-1-9821-0415-3

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. (May)