CRISTINA! by Cristina Saralegui

CRISTINA!

My Life as a Blonde
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 In this gutsy but simple-minded memoir, the 49-year-old host and executive producer of El Show de Cristina, copublisher of the magazine Cristina la Revista, and host of the daily radio program Cristina Opina offers her advice on marriage, child-rearing, racial and sexual discrimination, menopause, and the challenge of growing old. Saralegui's colloquial prose also recounts the legends of her proud Basque heritage and her immigrant forebears' affluent lifestyle in the Caribbean. The granddaughter of a millionaire Cuban publishing magnate, she was born in a wealthy suburb of Havana but emigrated to Miami with her family at the age of 12, shortly after Castro's revolution. She gives thumbnail sketches of Cuban character and culture in transition as she and her fellow expatriates made their new home in a tightly knit, middle- class barrio where many immigrants grew up, lived, and died without ever speaking (or needing to speak) a word of English. Saralegui later enrolled at the University of Miami to study communications and creative writing. There she learned the dubious craft of writing ``for the dumb schoolgirl,'' a technique she has all too clearly mastered. Once finished with school, she landed a gig writing mostly fluff pieces for Cosmopolitan en Espa§ola hugely successful Hearst spin-off of which she eventually became editorial director. In that leading role, she seemingly chose to clone her mentor, Helen Gurley Brown, and live the quintessential ``Cosmo Girl's'' unexamined life. Saralegui's comments on her career move to television and radio are as brisk and shallow as all the others. Her life reads like a series of pranks or a continuation of her show's shenanigans, peopled with lackluster acolytes and charlatansvampires and alien abductees alike. A half-witted tell-all in the talk-show mode. (Author tour)

Pub Date: March 19th, 1998
ISBN: 0-446-52008-X
Page count: 288pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1998