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My Judy Garland life : a memoir
Susie Boyt
Adult Nonfiction ML420.G253 B69 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

By turns clever, hilariously ironical and sweetly earnest, English novelist Boyt's paean to the legendary singer and actress elevates hero worship to the role of self-improvement. As a sensitive, conscientious, overweight youngster growing up in London, Boyt-painter Lucian Freud's daughter, although her parents split up before she was born in 1969-learned early on through listening to Judy's thrilling, moving singing that "the person with the strongest feelings in life is to be the best." Boyt (Last Hope of Girls) moves through Judy's rich, complex career and increasingly unraveling personal saga while sounding important themes that resonated in Boyt's own life: being early stagestruck (Boyt reckons she attended "almost 2,000 dance classes" as a youth); feeling unwanted; needing to rescue others in crisis and to console; and dealing with the drama of drug addicts. Boyt has managed to interview many of the survivors in Judy's story, such as Liza Minnelli, Joe Luft and Mickey Rooney; she pilgrimaged to Judy's birthplace in Grand Rapids, Minn., and her burial site in Westchester, N.Y., and sifts obsessively through questionnaires she gave to fans to understand better Judy's personal connection with people. While lavish, Boyt's hagiography proves poetic and endearing. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Filled with pages of earnest and unreadable odes to Judy Garland, this mystifying first memoir chronicles Boyt's inadvertently creepy, stalker-like obsession with "the greatest entertainer of the twentieth or any century." Her attempts to find connections to her own life come across as strained and unnatural. Boyt glosses over what is arguably the most interesting thing about her-she is the great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud and the daughter of painter Lucien Freud. No one but an equally obsessive Garland fan could possibly appreciate this. Readers looking to gain insight into obsessive fandom would be better served by Michael Joseph Gross's Starstruck: When a Fan Gets Close to the Fame.-Lauren Gilbert, Cold Spring Harbor Lib., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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