SISTERS: A Revealing Portrait of the World's Most Famous Diva by Jackie Callas

SISTERS: A Revealing Portrait of the World's Most Famous Diva

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In 1960, Maria Callas' mother, Evangelia Callas, got in her licks about her daughter (My Daughter Maria Callas--not reviewed). Now it's older sister Jackie's turn to rake over the familiar story of ""the World's Most Famous Diva."" Unfortunately, Jackie Callas has little that's new to offer in this whining, self-congratulatory volume. There's all the old stuff about her mother's obsessive ambitions for her talented younger sibling. There are the well-known details of her parents' unhappy marriage. Maria's marriage to Meneghini, her affair with Onassis, the legendary temper, the final reclusiveness are all trotted out again. Part of the problem may be that Jackie and Maria were estranged during most of the years ""La Divina"" was making headlines on the music (and the front) pages of journals around the world. As a result, this frequently reads like an amble through a newspaper morgue. And what seems to interest the author more than providing any fresh insights into the Callas legend is establishing how her own saintliness deprived her of a proper life. Her mother demanded all her time; her sister snubbed and insulted her; her longtime love refused to marry her; her own plans for a singing career came to naught because she just didn't have her younger sister's ruthlessness. Seemingly everyone who has come in contact with the author--except her mother and Maria, of course--has remarked that she is just ""too good."" It's unlikely that many readers will say the same of her doleful memoir.

Pub Date: Jan. 29th, 1989
Publisher: St. Martin's