CHANGING by Liv Ullmann
Kirkus Star


Email this review


Looking back on what I remember of my childhood's dreams, I see that they resemble many I still have, but I no longer live as if they were part of reality."" Not precisely autobiographical, these are Liv Ullmann's pensive, discerning recollections--with flashbacks and closeups--of the conflicts and joys of motherhood, the odd perquisites of a demanding profession, her early marriage and the liaison with director Ingmar Bergman. Whether musing on Henry Kissinger or catching Hugh Hefner snoozing through his own porn movie, she writes openly, gracefully, often with that dreamy, respectful little girl or rebellious teen-ager hovering nearby. The tension between daughter Linn's needs and her own is acute and constant: ""I can't find any solution through which her childhood and my life as an adult woman can be combined."" Aware of the child in herself, she delights in their time together, yet knows that the telephone--or an airplane flight--will ultimately intrude. In describing the years with Bergman, she conveys the temporary irresistibility and inevitable breakup in a few telling scenes--role-playing came easy, both knew their cues. ""You cannot imagine how much we hoped in the beginning."" And only when it was all over did they become ""true friends."" Now even Hollywood, despite its royal deceptions, has considerable charm. Ullmann maintains an honest perspecfive, even remembering the most trying situations, and chiefly regrets time spent seeking love and approbation, ""involved in what I thought other people wished to see me doing."" (One thinks of Jenny in Face to Face.) An exceptionally poised view of vulnerability and resilience.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Knopf