PERFORMING ARTS
Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein
Harper. Jun. 2018. 400p. photos. index. ISBN 9780062641359. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062641373. MEMOIR
COPY ISBN
OrangeReviewStarAmerican musical icon Leonard Bernstein (1918–90) is forever associated with West Side Story, the New York Philharmonic, televised Young People's Concerts, humanitarian causes, and more. Here daughter and author Jamie Bernstein presents an in-depth, compelling memoir that portrays the private man from her early years of childhood onward. In the Bernstein household, celebrity visits, from Stephen Sondheim to Lauren Bacall, were the norm, and Leonard adored teaching his children about everything from music to word games. He loved parties, the Beatles and Mahler, family time at their country house, hilarious antics, and composing and discussing current events in a haze of cigarette smoke. Although the three Bernstein children loved their father, they often struggled to define their own identities. The author examines her family life with perceptive honesty, including the untimely death of her talented mother, her own journey, and her father's increasingly complex personality. Beautifully set within the cultural framework of 20th-century America, this sensitive portrait of a famous father and his world also traces the author's life-affirming discovery of her own gifts while simultaneously honoring a rich legacy.
VERDICT An unforgettable memoir filled with poignancy and humor. A must for music lovers and general readers alike. [See Prepub Alert, 1/8/18.]

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.