• Born with Teeth

  • A Memoir
  • By: Kate Mulgrew
  • Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (4,137 ratings)

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Born with Teeth  By  cover art

Born with Teeth

By: Kate Mulgrew
Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
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Publisher's summary

Audie Award, Narration by Author, 2016

Raised by unconventional Irish Catholics who knew "how to drink, how to dance, how to talk, and how to stir up the devil", Kate Mulgrew grew up with poetry and drama in her bones. But in her mother, a would-be artist burdened by the endless arrival of new babies, young Kate saw the consequences of a dream deferred. Determined to pursue her own no matter the cost, at 18 she left her small Midwestern town for New York, where, studying with the legendary Stella Adler, she learned the lesson that would define her as an actress: "Use it," Adler told her. Whatever disappointment, pain, or anger life throws in your path, channel it into the work.

It was a lesson she would need. At 22, just as her career was taking off, she became pregnant and gave birth to a daughter. Having already signed the adoption papers, she was allowed only a fleeting glimpse of her child. As her star continued to rise, her life became increasingly demanding and fulfilling, a whirlwind of passionate love affairs, life-saving friendships, and bone-crunching work. Through it all Mulgrew remained haunted by the loss of her daughter until, two decades later, she found the courage to face the past and step into the most challenging role of her life both on and off screen.

We know Kate Mulgrew for the strong women she's played - Captain Janeway on Star Trek; the tough-as-nails Red on Orange Is the New Black. Now we meet the most inspiring and memorable character of all: herself. By turns irreverent and soulful, laugh-out-loud funny and heart-piercingly sad, Born with Teeth is the breathtaking memoir of a woman who dares to live life to the fullest, on her own terms.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2015 Kate Mulgrew (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"Mulgrew's strong stage presence and genuine emotions will make listeners want to experience this audiobook all in one go." ( AudioFile)

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What listeners say about Born with Teeth

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Beautiful Memoir

Given that I have never watched Star Trek and that I just began watching Orange is the New Black, I hate to admit that I did not recognize who Kate Mulgrew was. When I read the synopsis of the memoir, I was intrigued however. Even though I did not have much of an idea of who she was, her life seemed fascinating. I was not disappointed.

She had a colorful life - that she could only narrate. Her voice is beautiful and listening to her read her own words was like drinking honey. It was very soothing. At times, she did seem to overperform the narration but it made me appreciate her talent. Her narration solidified the fact that she is indeed an actress (as if her accolades don't already prove that).

Mulgrew's memoir comes with an authenticity that others seem to miss. She doesn't hesitate to discuss her failed romantic relationships and the strained relationship that she had with her sons as they were growing up. Surprisingly, she even discusses an event in her life that hardly anyone knew about until now (my, how the times have changed!). Without a doubt, this was a fascinating listen!

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163 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow, a magnificent life.

I dont read books and I have barely gotten through the 3 audio books I have. when I started this book I listened all day. I have started it over again just to get the tidbits I may have missed. I found the last chapter leaving me wanting for more.

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102 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I love Kate Mulgrew the actress, but....

Any additional comments?

Warning: Spoiler alerts, if such can be said of a memoir.

I have always admired the work of Kate Mulgrew the actress, but I found Kate Mulgrew the human being so lacking in self-reflection that I can't even begin to fathom why she wrote a memoir. I'm sorry to say, this was the most irritating memoir I have ever read. I understand that memoirists are not detailing their birth-to-now story and are picking and choosing from the important elements of their lives so you can better understand their choice points and decisions.

But Mulgrew the author repeatedly introduces us to difficult life experiences which she describes in detail without ever coming to terms with how the events affected her life's choices and decisions. It's simply an emotional catalog of her life's hardships: Giving up her daughter, being violently raped, meeting and losing the love of her life, taking on the role of the first female captain of the Star Trek franchise, realizing her mother's behavior was getting very odd and unpredictable, being reunited with her daughter, and concluding with the cliff-hanger of reconnecting with the love of her life.


At no point in this narration of events did she provide any of the inner workings of her mind, or any acknowledgment of hard lessons learned going forward. Yes, we are treated to her emotional reactions in the moment, dissected into infinity as if her entire life is just about being an actress acting out her own life. As much as I like the actress and the roles she portrays I admit to being first disappointed and then annoyed at her histrionic retelling of minutia while skipping over the real meat of her story. In her telling she rarely if ever stopped to consider how her actions are actually affecting the people closest to her. I have never said this about a memoir, but I found this one shallow, egotistical and strikingly unaware. If you enjoy reading a portrait of how a narcissistic actress deals with her life then this book is for you.

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96 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Captivaing story delivered with verisimilitude

Usually I only listen to audio books on long car rides, but when my ride was over—I could not stop. I burned my car battery listening to her on Bluetooth. I burned out my iPhone listening to her on my bedroom’s sound bar. I laughed at times, and I cried as she described her anticipation talking to her daughter for the first time. It is a captivating story presented with verisimilitude. Now I want to go back and watch everything she has ever acted in. I respect her.

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64 people found this helpful

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Just right

Loved this memoir! Filled with wit, humor, honesty, and heart. The narration by author made me feel as if I knew her.

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52 people found this helpful

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Fabulous Kate

I dithered for some time over listening to this book, but I have always admired Kate Mulgrew, so I finally gave in. She did not disappoint in the slightest. I found her to be warm and loving and funny and strong. All the best things an Irish girl can be. I am absolutely overwhelmed at the beauty of her writing. She has a powerfully evocative, and fearless writers voice. She has said she will continue to write, and I look forward to reading whatever comes next.

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46 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Kate falls in love a few times

This book seems more like a collection of Mills and Boon love stories than a biography. Major life events like the deaths of siblings and getting divorced are summarised into a few lines yet you get hour after hour of word for word detail about every date. There's about 15mins dedicated to her time in Startrek but you get 30mins on her over analyzing the meaning of a card and flowers and falling apart over that.

I was hoping for a story about a strong woman struggling with life in the tough world of acting but instead it's the story of the love affairs if a self absorbed sometimes mother, sometimes actor.

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43 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I can taste the words and they are delicious.

The story is compelling and her life very interesting, and what really makes this book is her reading of it. Never before have I had the experience of feeling like I could taste the words in her mouth as she read them. I know that sounds strange, but she is so intense and so real and so exact in every choice of every word. It's like mindfulness writing and reading. Five stars all around!

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41 people found this helpful

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  • BR
  • 04-18-15

Nothing past 1999

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Her story ends 16 years ago, which I found to be quite an odd place to end a memoir. Did she write this book in 1999, but publish it now because of the popularity of Orange is the New Black? At the very least, she should have included an Afterword or a final chapter to fill us in on last 16 years.

Any additional comments?

Disappointing.

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37 people found this helpful

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A life well lived!

What a fascinating woman! I hated that it ended, and look forward to a sequel. Keeping leading the way, strong beautiful Kate!

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