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An exhaustive and exhausting autobiography of Weiner's life to date.

A bestselling author reveals everything about her life.

Novelist Weiner (Who Do You Love, 2015, etc.) gives readers an in-depth look into her life in these nonfiction essays, the subjects of which have provided much of the fodder for her popular books. Going as far back as when her grandparents met, the author provides an overly detailed timeline of her life. For those who want to know how and when Weiner began writing; what grade school and high school were like for an overweight introvert; why her mother came out as a lesbian and the effect that had on the author; her college life, including the classes she took; her ambitions during and after college; the boyfriends she had and the lovesickness she felt when they left her; how she felt about being a mother and how returning to work when her first daughter was very young affected her; the author’s thoughts on food and weight gain and loss; how her books became so successful; and a host of other minutiae, look no further. The essays are honest, sometimes funny, and sometimes emotional, and they help to show what life can be like for a woman and/or a Jewish woman, but there's so much packed into the book that it becomes overwhelming. Weiner's ability to recall physical details about her 8-year-old classmates or the books she read starting at age 4 may seem impressive, but it's those same details that eventually bog readers down. For Weiner’s many fans, the book will answer the question of “where does she find her writing material?” Readers of her novels and those who like knowing the intimate, personal lives of popular celebrities will find plenty to absorb in this fat volume.

An exhaustive and exhausting autobiography of Weiner's life to date.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4767-2340-2

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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