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The Words and Music of Alanis Morissette

by Karen Fournier


Before becoming the queen of angst, Alanis Morissette was a pop princess.

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Cover image for The Words and Music of Alanis Morissette

January 2015


Pages 182
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/Music and Performing Arts
  Popular Culture/Icons and Celebrities

Through an examination of her music, videos, philanthropic work, and biographical details, this book gives insight into Alanis Morissette's musical career and day-to-day life, from her early pop beginnings in Canada to her work today.

As a whole, Alanis Morissette's work has never been critically analyzed. The Words and Music of Alanis Morissette addresses this oversight through its examination of Morissette's work in the context of biographical facts, its relationship to other cultural trends, and its reflection of the female perspective.

This book merges biographical information with a critical examination of the music that she produced and performed during all periods of her life, thereby providing a needed overview of Morissette's body of work. All Morissette fans will appreciate learning about the details of her life, but the author's melding of the star's personal life story with an informed analysis of popular music will also appeal to a wider audience—readers interested in music, culture, women's studies, or female musicians, for example. The book provides entertaining and engrossing reading for any Alanis Morissette fan and serves as a resource that documents her broad contributions to the music industry.


    • Provides a study of subject matter far beyond Morissette's blockbuster album, Jagged Little Pill, with coverage extending to 2012's Havoc and Bright Lights
    • Situates Morissette alongside noteworthy female singer-songwriters with roots extending back to the 1960s
    • Traces the origins of Morissette's music in pop, grunge, and electronic dance music
    • Explains how Morissette's enormous appeal among fans lies largely in their identification with details that she shared about her life and experiences
Author Info

Karen Fournier, PhD, is associate professor of music theory at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has contributed essays on popular music to Praeger's The Album: A Guide to Pop Music's Most Provocative, Influential, and Important Creations and Greenwood's The 100 Greatest Bands of All Time: A Guide to the Legends Who Rocked the World. Her published works also include several articles on the sociology of music theory, epistemology, and popular music. Fournier received her doctorate in music theory from the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada.

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