Society’s Child: My Autobiography
by Janis Ian
Tarcher/Penguin. 348 pages, $26.95
WHEN you’re fifteen years old, when Leonard Bernstein features you on national television, when your first single charts in the top ten, garnering a Grammy nomination, and The New York Times anoints you a “radiant new talent,” what do you do for an encore? Most child prodigies fade quickly from view, but Janis Ian is thriving some forty years later, though not without some intense struggle in the interim, as detailed in her new autobiography.