Berklee Today: Juliana Hatfield

Mark Small
March 2, 2009
Photo Jonathan Stark

A glimpse into the lives of revered artists—from Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky to Vincent Van Gogh to Emily Dickinson to the members of Aerosmith—leads me to wonder about the correlation between artist and angst. Movies, books, and songs have long romanticized the familiar plot line featuring the gifted artist who leads a tortured personal life out of sight of his fans.

And with her memoir When I Grow Up, alternative rocker Juliana Hatfield adds her story to that file. Hatfield's book offers an eloquent and unvarnished account of the highs and lows of her career and personal life. As a fledgling artist brimming with talent and promise, Hatfield put her all into music. The drive to create songs expressing her deepest feelings and the natural high of performing prompted her to push past personal problems on the road to stardom. But Hatfield could continue for only so long before she reached an inevitable crisis point that forced a reassessment. Happily, Hatfield's story ends on a positive note as she learns to cope with her demons and graciously accepts what music has given her.

In her memoir, Hatfield reveals that she is a private and complex person, a bit uncomfortable in her own skin. She candidly details her battles with self-esteem, depression, anorexia, and her inability to form lasting love relationships. . . .

Read the full story at Berklee Today