Ani DiFranco Divulges Stories About Being an Activist in New Memoir

Ani DiFranco will recount her journey from struggling artist, estranged from her parents, to celebrated musician and determined activist in a new memoir. In addition to music, DiFranco has been an activist for countless causes including the environment, racial justice, reproductive rights, gender equality and prison reform.

DiFranco released her self-titled debut album through her own Righteous Babe Records in 1990 at age 20. A fiercely independent streak has defined her career ever since as she’s toured relentlessly and released 17 more solo albums, numerous live albums, a handful of EPs and two records with legendary folk musician and labor organizer, Utah Phillips.

DiFranco also discussed the differences between writing music and prose, saying, “Writing songs is not really about discipline. There’s work, yes, but also to really get it right the clouds must part and a shaft of light come down, in a living moment things must align. Writing prose has already presented itself differently to me. It feels like sitting in front of a huge slab of timeless stone and staring unfocused until a figure appears, and then chipping … and chipping, and then again un-focusing the eyes. A much more zen exercise in its ritual and manual labor. I am very excited about exploring this new kind of writing and making a book.”

Last October, DiFranco shared, “Play God,” her first single since 2014. Both the song and video serve as a feminist battle cry for the fight for reproductive rights. “Play God” will appear on DiFranco’s upcoming album, Binary, out in May.