A portrait of a woman, an era, and a profession: the first thoroughly researched biography of Meryl Streep - the "Iron Lady" of acting, nominated for 19 Oscars and winner of three - that explores her beginnings as a young woman of the 1970s grappling with love, feminism, and her astonishing talent.
In 1975, Meryl Streep, a promising young graduate of the Yale School of Drama, was finding her place in the New York theater scene. Burning with talent and ambition, she was like dozens of aspiring actors of the time - a 20-something beauty who rode her bike everywhere, kept a diary, napped before performances, and stayed out late "talking about acting with actors in actors' bars". Yet Meryl stood apart from her peers. In her first season in New York, she won attention-getting parts in back-to-back Broadway plays, a Tony Award nomination, and two roles in Shakespeare in the Park productions. Even then, people said, "Her. Again."
Her Again is an intimate look at the artistic coming of age of the greatest actress of her generation, from the homecoming float at her suburban New Jersey high school through her early days on the stage at Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama during its golden years to her star-making roles in The Deer Hunter, Manhattan, and Kramer vs. Kramer. New Yorker contributor Michael Schulman brings into focus Meryl's heady rise to stardom on the New York stage; her passionate, tragically short-lived love affair with fellow actor John Cazale; her marriage to sculptor Don Gummer; and her evolution as a young woman of the 1970s wrestling with changing ideas of feminism, marriage, love, and sacrifice.
This captivating story of the making of one of the most revered artistic careers of our time reveals a gifted young woman coming into her extraordinary talents at a time of immense transformation, offering a rare glimpse into the life of the actress long before she became an icon.
©2016 Michael Schulman (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
Avid listener on my daily commute!
This book is the oddest thing: a purported biography with literally NO information on its subject that the reader could not discover on his own simply by reading every Wikipedia entry and magazine article ever written about her. I suppose this is what's to be expected from an unauthorized biography (Streep wrote to the author when she first heard about the project, advising him not to write the book), but I pre-ordered it on the supposition that SOMEONE (or preferably many someones) close to Streep would have been interviewed and provided some interesting, never-before-told stories and insights. If any friends, family, former lovers or rivals DID talk to the author, you'd never know it from this book-length magazine article masquerading as biography. If you buy this book hoping to learn anything about Streep's thoughts, feelings, emotional experience, flaws, foibles or internal states, you're going to be very disappointed--and doubly annoyed by the narrator, whose perky, chirpy delivery suits this puff piece (the sole central thesis of which is "Meryl Streep is the greatest living actress") perfectly.
If, on the other hand, you're interested in learning more about theatre generally, plays, playwrights, acting technique, and drama gods such as Joe Papp of the Public Theater, as well as, to some extent, about Hollywood bigwigs such as Sam Cohn, go for it! That's the reason I'm giving it four stars overall. I was engaged to the end of the book, learning about ghastly would-be drama teachers and directors at Yale, the young misfit Sigourney (nee Susan) Weaver, critical and audience reception of the chauvinist themes of Taming of the Shrew, John Cazale's lung cancer, Sam Cohn and his bizarre habit of eating paper, Woody Allen and how often he ate at Elaine's (every night for ten years), the protests inspired by the perceived racism and ethnocentrism of The Deer Hunter, and what an utter braying jackass Dustin Hoffman is.
Then again, I probably could have found all that on Wikipedia.
Unless the listener/reader is particularly interested in the minutia and detail of who each and every teacher, director, co-actor's name, date, and tiny details, this is a waste of time.There is ultimately a very small amount of information for the average reader/listener who is not in show business, who wants to learn about this exceptional actor. It seems like the author looked up newspaper clippings from the past and just paraphrased the entire book based on research. There is no first person information on Meryl Streep.
Cut the minutia and give information about her entire life. Not just her work life.
This reader had a very sarcastic tone in much of the reading. I have listened to dozens of books and this is first thumbs down on the reader, in my experience.
that sums it up.
I am not liking this book, can't seem to finish it. The swearing and content is not uplifting. I'm need to send it back....before the book I really like her.
Book was basically a resume high school through Kramer and Kramer.
1/ 3 of book was about Kramer and Kramer
Didn't touch on all of her success since then.
Very little of her personnel experience more like a resume read from a show business newspaper
Say something about yourself!
My sense was that either the author or the narrator (or both) was disdainful and of Meryl Streep. Her story is compelling; too often comments about her or her era were snide and unappreciative.
As a fan of Meryl Streep, it's difficult to rate this book. This is partly because it only covers her early years. I wasn't as interested and her college experiences which are covered in great detail. But others might be. However her early professional roles and the gossipy bits surrounding them were at times captivating. I really enjoyed hearing about her first on-screen role in the movie Julia, with Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave . And I didn't know about her tragic (in the end) love affair with John Cazale (Fredo in the Godfather) or that she married her current husband, a sculptor, Don Gummer, 6 months after John's death.
I didn't care for the narration--and at times it seemed as if someone was reading from a gossip magazine.
author, women's aviation
Loved the story! The narrator was perfect! I've admired Streep for years, but missed all of her early movies. I am going back to watch them now. Have already recommended to many friends and will continue to do so. 5 stars all the way!
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