Musician Ani DiFranco Discusses Her Literary Influences

Posted by Montse on May 16, 2019


Grammy-winning musician, activist, and feminist icon Ani DiFranco has sold more than 5.5 million albums, collaborated with Pete Seeger, Chuck D, and Prince, and founded her own record label—Righteous Babe Records.

Now she's taking her talents in a new direction with her debut book, the fierce memoir No Walls and the Recurring Dream, available now. DiFranco talked to Goodreads about the book, her literary influences, and how she’s feeling about embarking on a book tour versus a music tour.


Goodreads: Tell me a bit about yourself, and what made you decide to dive into the literary world from music?

Ani DiFranco: I have written hundreds of songs and played thousands of shows, and I needed a creative challenge. Writing complete sentences seemed like it fit the bill.


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Goodreads: Who or what were some of your influences in writing your memoir?

AD: Dr. Willie Parker, who wrote a book called Life's Work, helped me to refine my tone when speaking about my abortions. Amanda Palmer, my friend who wrote a book called The Art of Asking, gave me very useful feedback on an early version of my manuscript. Terri Sutton, an English professor at the University of Minnesota and the partner of my former road manager, served as an informal editor helping me to achieve a better overall flow.

Goodreads: Can you share any other books or authors who have impacted your life / are meaningful to you?

AD: The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image by Leonard Shlain and The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World by David Abram.

Goodreads: You’ve been touring for years as a musician. How are you feeling about touring as an author now, too? Anything you’re especially looking forward to?

AD: No gear hauling! No soundchecks! Woo hoo.

Goodreads: Finally, for anyone who might not already be familiar with your music, what would you like them to know about you?

AD: Though the sound of my music is not always "folky," I refer to myself at the Little Folk Singer. My songs have stories in them and a political awareness.


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No Walls and the Recurring Dream: A Memoir is now available. Be sure to add it to your Want to Read shelf. Plus, discover more memoirs by female musicians—including Patti Smith, Nina Simone, and Carly Simon—here.




Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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message 1: by Emily May (new)

Emily May THIS IS SO COOL. I love Ani! 😍


message 2: by Nadia (new)

Nadia Ani is AWESOME in everything she does, so cannot wait to read her Memoir!!! I suggested it as a purchase for my city's Library system and I'm thrilled they've ordered it!


message 3: by Angie (new)

Angie Douglas Nadia wrote: "Ani is AWESOME in everything she does, so cannot wait to read her Memoir!!! I suggested it as a purchase for my city's Library system and I'm thrilled they've ordered it!"

I am hoping my library orders it soon, my request is in. Lol I am just ordering it on Amazon since I cannot wait :)


message 4: by ampelia (new)

ampelia LEGEND!!


message 5: by J Earl (new)

J Earl Loved her shows the times I saw her and am loving the book so far. Phenomenal person and artist.


message 6: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Benny Emily May wrote: "THIS IS SO COOL. I love Ani! 😍"

Adding this one to my TBR for sure! "Not a Pretty Girl" burned a hole in my CD player in university after I saw Ani for the first time at the Winnipeg Folk Fest. She is just so raw and kick-ass! Can't wait to read her book.


message 7: by Charles (last edited May 18, 2019 03:08AM) (new)

Charles Hebenstreit What, am I missing something? Where's the rest of the interview?


message 8: by Richestsoft (new)

Richestsoft Its very intresting to read his about his life. Top SEO Company In India


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