Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie

The Authorized Biography

Book - 2018
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"A powerful, intimate look at the life and music of a beloved folk icon and activist. Folk hero. Songwriter icon. Living legend. Buffy Sainte-Marie is all of these things and more. In this, Sainte-Marie's first and only authorized biography, music critic Andrea Warner draws from more than sixty hours of exclusive interviews to offer a powerful, intimate look at the life of the beloved artist and everything that she has accomplished in her seventy-seven years (and counting). Since her groundbreaking debut, 1964's It's my way!, the Cree singer-songwriter has been a trailblazer and a tireless advocate for Indigenous rights and freedoms, an innovative artist, and a disruptor of the status quo. Establishing herself among the ranks of folk greats such as Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, she has released more than twenty albums, survived being blacklisted by two U.S. presidents, and received countless accolades, including the only Academy Award ever to be won by a First Nations artist. But this biography does more than celebrate Sainte-Marie's unparalleled talent as a songwriter and entertainer; packed with insight and knowledge, it offers an unflinchingly honest, heartbreakingly real portrait of the woman herself, including the challenges she experienced on the periphery of showbiz, her healing from the trauma of childhood and intimate partner violence, her commitment to activism, and her leadership in the protest movement."--
Publisher: Vancouver :, Greystone Books,, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781771643580
Branch Call Number: ANF 782.42164 WAR
Characteristics: 298 pages : illustrations (some colour) ; 24 cm


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liljables Jun 10, 2019

I’m going to be honest and start by saying I knew next-to-nothing about Buffy Sainte-Marie before reading her biography, so I guess it’s kind of odd that I picked up this book in the first place. But, I had motivation: I had heard the author, Andrea Warner, interviewed on one of my favourite podcasts, Secret Feminist Agenda, and it was clear that she had fallen deeply in love with Buffy during the process of writing the book. Her obvious admiration and respect for Sainte-Marie convinced me that this was a biography worth reading, and I wasn’t disappointed!

I was completely blown away by the trajectory of Sainte-Marie's five-decades-and-counting career as a musician and activist. As someone who claims to know something about music from the '60s and '70s, I'm ashamed to admit that I really had no idea what sort of impact Buffy had on the landscape of folk, rock, and pop. She penned songs that would become standards recorded by many more famous acts, often with little or no credit (in fact, many of her songs are mis-credited to - you guessed it - white dudes!). Buffy was and is also working tirelessly as an advocate for Indigenous people, labouring to decolonize the music and film industries before the term "decolonization" was widely known.

Now 78 years old, Buffy Sainte-Marie is still making groundbreaking music and involving young Indigenous musicians in every project. Do yourself a favour and pick up this book, but don't speed through it: when the author mentions a song, put the book down and google it! Listening to Buffy's music as I read really enhanced my reading experience.

Jan 30, 2019

This is a very well done biography. Buffy has always presented her thoughts and feelings in her music and lyrics, so it isn't as if we knew little about her. She is not demure when telling her tales and she touches on some big truths about women's lives and the racism indigenous people deal with every day.

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