PERFORMING ARTS

Brother & Sister: A Memoir

Knopf. Feb. 2020. 176p. ISBN 9780451494504. $25.95. FILM
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Actress Keaton (Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty) reflects on her relationship with her younger brother, Randy Hall. Early on, Hall exhibited heightened fears and anxieties that were intensified by a father with exacting standards and a mother who found it difficult to acknowledge the scope of her son’s complexities. Hall wrote poetry, made collages, but increasingly withdrew—eventually walking out of a job at their father’s company, divorcing his wife, descending into alcoholism, and angrily shutting out the world. In an effort to seek understanding of his struggles, Keaton eloquently and unflinchingly examines her brother’s life, drawing from excerpts of his poetry and her mother’s journals and letters in an attempt to find answers to her questions. The result is 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.
VERDICT Immersive and haunting, this is a must for Keaton’s fans and for those seeking to comprehend the nuances of sibling and family relationships.

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