WHAT HAS SHE GOT? by Cynthia S. Smith


Women Who Attract Famous Men--and How They Do It
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 What quality do women who've had multiple attachments to famous men share? ``Ordinariness,'' theorizes Smith (Doctor's Wives, 1980, etc.) in this flimsy study: They're ``the kind of women you pass pushing shopping carts to the market.'' Famous men are concentrating emotional energy on their work, Smith says, so a woman ``who wishes to please such a man must practice tremendous self-denial...Her importance to him becomes her sole source of self-satisfaction.'' Fifteen case histories follow, put together from secondary sources and an occasional interview; few of the profiles bear out Smith's thesis. Mia Farrow is described as ``chameleonlike'' in her adjustments to Frank Sinatra, AndrÇ Previn, and Woody Allen--but hasn't Farrow also found satisfaction with her brood of children? Francoise Gilot, who we're told attracted Picasso with her unattainability, then later married Dr. Jonas Salk, emerges as independent and conscious of her own needs. ``Trophy wives,'' such as Susan Gutfreund and Georgette Mosbacher, may help teach their megarich husbands to enjoy their money, but they're also clearly having big-spending fun themselves. Wallis Simpson ``played the role of critical parent'' with the Duke of Windsor, humiliating him at every score. Jessica Lange, Alma Mahler, Gayfryd Steinberg, and Pamela Harriman are among the others examined. While the women in question exert a pull on the popular imagination, Smith's rewarmed capsule bios and shallow psychological speculation provide neither insight nor entertainment. (Photographs.)

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1991
ISBN: 1-55611-261-0
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Donald Fine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1991