Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Born With Teeth

From Goodreads:
 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 twenty-two, 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.

From Me:
3 stars.
I liked it.
I listened to the audio version which was narrated by the author and I think she did a fine job.
I read once that if a biographer or memoir-est, has a good story to tell it doesn't matter if the writing is good or not.  There's probably a kernel of truth to that, but I still think you have to be able to put things in order and write fairly well to have people want to read your book.
Kate Mulgrew came thru-- she wrote an engrossing story.
I was not a big Star Trek  (of Mulgrew's series anyway) fan but I am a big Orange is the New Black fan, so it was   interesting to learn about her early life.

The only thing that bugs me a little bit -- in all celebrity memoirs or biographies -- is, that, they (the celebrity authors) really like themselves a lot.
Have you ever noticed that?
Everything is exquisite (Mulgrew used that word a couple of times).
Falling in love is like nothing any one has ever done before (maybe it's like that for all of us--we just don't write it down)  
Everything is wonderful, perfect, exquisite!  or it's not.  And they've had horrible awful miserable experiences. More horrible, awful and miserable than any of us normal, pedestrians. 

Maybe that's the nature of being a celebrity.  You have to like yourself quite a bit to be able to put yourself out there.
I don't know.  Celebrity memoirs, whether I like them or not, just seem a bit self-absorbed to me.

But I liked this one!  I really did.


bermudaonion said...

I'll probably read this because I do love memoirs but I've never really watched Mulgrew in anything.

I guess you do have to like yourself to put yourself out there like that but there are some celebrities who seem to have some humility.

Susan Lindquist said...

Oh! I think I would love this one ... I always liked her personality. I'm curious!

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