• Brother & Sister

  • A Memoir
  • By: Diane Keaton
  • Narrated by: Diane Keaton
  • Length: 4 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (202 ratings)

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Brother & Sister  By  cover art

Brother & Sister

By: Diane Keaton
Narrated by: Diane Keaton
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Publisher's summary

From the beloved film star and best-selling author of Then Again - a heartfelt memoir about Diane Keaton's relationship with her younger brother, and a poignant exploration of the divergent paths siblings' lives can take.

When they were children in the suburbs of Los Angeles in the 1950s, Diane Keaton and her younger brother, Randy, were best friends and companions: They shared stories at night in their bunk beds; they swam, laughed, dressed up for Halloween. Their mother captured their American-dream childhoods in her diaries, and on camera. But as they grew up, Randy became troubled, then reclusive. By the time he reached adulthood, he was divorced, an alcoholic, a man who couldn't hold on to full-time work - his life a world away from his sister's, and from the rest of their family.

Now, Diane is delving into the nuances of their shared, and separate, pasts to confront the difficult question of why and how Randy ended up living his life on "the other side of normal". In beautiful and fearless prose that's intertwined with journal entries, letters, and poetry - many of them Randy's own writing and art - this insightful memoir contemplates the inner workings of a family, the ties that hold it together, and the special bond between siblings even when they are pulled far apart. Here is a story about love and responsibility: about how, when we choose to reach out to the people we feel closest to - in moments of difficulty and loss - surprising things can happen. A story with universal echoes, Brother & Sister speaks across generations to families whose lives have been touched by the fragility and "otherness" of loved ones - and to brothers and sisters everywhere.

©2020 Diane Keaton (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"[A] brave memoir ... Keaton takes a long, hard look at her relationship with her younger brother, Randy, whose descent into mental illness parallels her climb to the stratosphere of stardom.” (Elisabeth Egan, The New York Times Book Review)

"Immersive and haunting...Keaton eloquently and unflinchingly examines her younger brother’s life, drawing from excerpts of his poetry and her mother's journals and letters.... A cohesive, honest look at an entire family impacted by a troubled individual, as well as how Keaton maintained a bond with her sibling despite tremendous challenges. A must for Keaton’s fans and for those seeking to comprehend the nuances of sibling and family relationships." (Library Journal)

"A resonant family memoir - a slim but weighty book. Keaton focuses on her complex relationship with her younger brother, whose escalating instability - vividly described - affected Keaton, her parents, and her two sisters. The author, who became the "family documentarian" after her mother's death, utilizes family letters and journals to enhance the narrative.... Keaton talks about the complexities of loving a brother she never quite knew; of watching him become consumed by alcohol and then 'falling into the process of dying'; and of wishing she had done more to help him.... A haunting meditation on mortality, sibling love, mental illness, and regret." (Publishers Weekly)