Tag: Biography (31-40 of 43)
Gary Dell’ Abate has spent the last 27 years producing Howard Stern’s radio program — Baba Booey! — a three-ring circus of calculated chaos that now reigns on Sirius — Baba Booey!! — Satellite Radio. Over the years, he’s taken part — Baba Booey!!! Fine! Over the years, Baba Booey has taken part in all sorts of shenanigans and grown accustomed to having his personal life — and dental hygiene — dissected by Stern and his court. But with the New York Times best-seller They Call Me Baba Booey, Dell’ Abate (and cowriter Chad Millman) have pulled back the curtain on his own complex childhood in Long Island, where his clinically depressed mother was prone to clobbering antagonistic neighbors with shrubs. Some fans expecting a Private Parts-esque expose of racists, strippers and carnival freaks might be disappointed, but others will be pleasantly surprised by the earnest and thoughtful telling of growing up Booey. If anyone was raised to handle the insanity of Howard Stern’s jackals, it’s Gary Dell’ Abate.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Who did you set out to write the book for?
GARY DELL’ ABATE: I was always targeting it towards the fans. There’s a lot of stuff in there that I think the fans will appreciate, but it’s not a behind-the-scenes-of-the-show book. I guess my angle was, I’ve been on the show for 27 years. If you think you know me and you like me, now you’ll really get to know me.
The book is much more personal and sober than I would’ve expected, delving into your upbringing in a very chaotic middle-class household. Was that always the plan?
I was playing with a lot of different ideas. I had been pitching around a different kind of book, a much lighter book. I’m known as the music guy on the show, so maybe a Baba Booey’s Book of Music Lists, Essays, Arguments etc etc, something like that. I talked to a book agent who I know very well, and he said, “Well, you might be able to sell that, but really, What’s your story?” And I said, “Well I don’t have a story.” And he’s like “Everybody’s got a story.” And so I went home that night and thought about it, and I called him the next day, and I said, “You want to know my story? Here’s my story.” And he goes, “That’s a great story.” I go, “Yeah, there’s one problem; I don’t really want to tell that story.” It was highly personal. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go there, because I didn’t want to portray my mother in a negative way. READ FULL STORY
Brittany Murphy (Clueless, 8 Mile) is ready to set the record straight with a biography of her daughter, according to E! News. Sharon Murphy (far left) announced her plan for the book on Nov. 10 — the day that would have been Brittany’s 33rd birthday if the actress hadn’t passed away last December from a combination of pneumonia and prescription drugs. The tragedy prompted a swirl of speculation about Brittany’s lifestyle, rumors that Sharon Murphy hopes to stamp out once and for all. “This book will be my way of celebrating and honoring her extraordinary life and career,” said Murphy, who promised to give part of the book’s proceeds to charity. “I am looking forward to everyone reading the accurate account about my daughter, her life, loves and career.”The mother of the late actress
Sharon Murphy’s goal is nothing if not noble; certainly someone ought to step up to the defense of her daughter after her reputation was savaged in the media frenzy surrounding her death. But a book like this will also invite a new wave of scrutiny. Would Brittany’s memory be better served by letting her legacy live on through her work rather than in a biography? Let us know what you think in the comments.
It’s a Burberry coat…It’s a private jet…It’s Beyoncé! The pop superstar will be getting the comic book treatment in Fame: Beyonce, a 32-page special issue comic that will hit racks in January. Part of it will be an origin story, but since it looks like the narrative will be sticking pretty close to the real-life facts, we probably won’t see the singer receive the power of super-choreography after being bitten by a radioactive Bob Fosse. According to the press release, the book will illustrate her “rise through the music business, from her early days with Destiny’s Child to her booming solo career.” The comic comes from Bluewater Productions, the same company that has already put out comics based on the lives of Sarah Palin, Taylor Swift, Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga.
The AP is reporting that the author has finished his research and has packed up his perch, heading back to Massachusetts to start penning the book.Good fences make good neighbors, especially if your neighbor is a writer looking to get dirt on you and your family. When author Joe McGinniss moved next-door to Sarah Palin’s Wasilla, Alaska home three months ago in order to start gathering research for a new book, the Palins added an extension onto their fence to obscure his view. Apparently this didn’t deter McGinniss from getting what he needed:
While the Palins understandably didn’t roll out the welcome mat, McGinniss found the people of Wasilla were extremely hospitable. “They started bringing me blueberry pie,” he told the AP. “I had many offers of handguns to borrow.” Additionally, McGinniss says that everyone was willing to talk to him, “with the single exception of that least Alaskan of all Alaskans, Sarah Palin.”
Biographer Andrew Morton, known for tackling high profile people in his works, is at it again, this time chronicling the life of Angelina Jolie in Angelina: An Unauthorized Biography, out Aug. 3. Earlier this week, the New York Times published a review which noted the obvious lack of sourcing throughout the book. I set out on a three-day journey to read Morton’s book and see what all the fuss is about.
As it turns out, the critique is not that far off. Although I thought many of Morton’s revelations were interesting, I found myself questioning the credibility of his research throughout all 16 chapters. There are seven pages of ‘source notes’ at the end of the book, but it’s really just a letter from Morton acknowledging the people who would speak with him. (Angelina is not one of them.) Morton said he relied on “original research and interviews with contemporaries” for the most part. But I would say the majority of the book relies on interviews done by other people, including two quotes from interviews Angelina did with Entertainment Weekly in January 1998 and November 1999. (I checked. At least these two quotes were placed in accurate context.) Many of his other sources spoke only with the promise of anonymity. And while that’s fine and dandy, there are too many anonymous sources to make me believe everything he writes. I kept wondering “Who said so?” and “Why should I believe this?” as he drew his many conclusions. For example, he quotes a psychoanalyst who has more than 20 years of experience, but has never treated Angelina. This doesn’t scream credibility to me.
Here’s an abridged list the book’s, um, highlights. (If you do choose to read it, you’d be OK skipping the first four chapters. They’re boring.)
- Angelina’s mom, Marcheline, had feelings for Al Pacino. Morton claims she was in romantic turmoil over her feelings for Pacino and Jon Voight. When Voight proposed, Pacino begged her not to marry him. But Marcheline went along with her mother’s wishes, and chose the more successful of the two men at the time and married Voight. (It really is a small world. Even for famous people.)
- Morton also claims Marcheline gave her children the names Angelina and James because they were anagrams of Al Pacino’s full name, Alfredo James Pacino.
- During the filming of Voight’s Conrack, he and Marcheline went on a long drive. They saw a church bus with the name “Shiloh Baptist” painted on the back. Voigt wanted to name his next child Shiloh Baptist, but Marcheline said no. She later recommended the name for her first biological grandchild. (For a woman who hated her ex-husband so much, this is quite a big step.)
- Both Angelina and her brother, James Haven, were given middle names with the intention that they would drop their surname to go into show business. (Well, that plan definitely worked.)
- At 14, Angelina’s boyfriend, Anton, moved in with her at her mother’s suggestion. Apparently, Marcheline gave up the master bedroom for her teenager daughter. This was all in the name of keeping a close eye on their budding relationship. (WHAT?!)
- Angelina wanted to be successful without using her father’s famous last name. But her mother told an agent that he could start telling people she was Jon Voight’s daughter, unbeknownst to Angelina. “To this day Angie doesn’t know that it was her father’s name that helped her get her first big break.” (Well, I’m guessing she has a hunch.)
- After the 1998 Golden Globes, Angelina partied with Leonardo DiCaprio after their agents set them up. They didn’t hit it off in the long run, but they did share a shower together. (Morton actually said Leo didn’t “float her boat.” Eww.)
- In 1999, Angelina received a tattoo of Billy Bob Thornton’s name way below her bikini line. The book reveals it was tattooed in Helvetica. (A nice sans-serif choice, if you ask me.) That tattoo has since faded.
- Billy Bob Thornton and his “morbid fear of flying and a hatred of harpsichords, silverware, and antiques, particularly French furniture. Born into poverty, he was literally terrified of putting a silver spoon in his mouth.” (Hatred of harpsichords? )
- In September 2002, Jolie officially had Voight removed from her name. But Morton said at one point she told a Toronto newspaper, “I actually hate Jolie. I would rather have been Voight.”
- She’s quoted talking about adopting a child from Russia, but it didn’t work out. (Can you imagine being the almost child of Angelina Jolie? Neither can I.)
So what do you think? Is this a book you want to read? And do you trust Andrew Morton’s research on a person he’s never (to my knowledge) spoken to?
Tired of looking for a children’s book for real, patriotic Americans? Everyone knows The Giving Tree supports a welfare state, Curious George is part of the evolution agenda, and don’t even get me started on that tree-hugging Lorax. Well, now you can search no further: The Christian publisher Zondervan has announced that they will be publishing an unauthorized biography of Sarah Palin for young readers. Speaking Up will fashion the story of the former governor’s life as a source of inspiration for ages 9-12.
According to the New York Times, Bristol Palin’s unplanned pregnancy will not be covered in this kiddie version of Going Rogue. Also likely to be excluded are the vice-presidential candidate’s hunting affinities: Children who love Dr. Seuss’ Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose probably wouldn’t be interested in seeing Ms. Palin pump a high-powered bullet through that big heart of his. And I doubt that her hand-written note gaffe will make it into the final draft, lest you end up inspiring students to use crib sheets during their oral book reports.
What do you think, Shelf-Lifers? What else do you think won’t be in the book? What will be? And who do you think will be the primary evil villain: Levi Johnston or Katie Couric?
withdrawn before publication. (Kelley claims that was probably because it contained reveals regarding Oprah’s life as a “teenage prostitute,” among other secrets)Kitty Kelley has gone where most biographers have been too afraid to go before: She wrote the life story of the all-powerful Oprah Winfrey. Kelley spent four years of her life researching the talk show maven for her new unauthorized biography, Oprah (hits shelves tomorrow). We got the author on the phone today to talk about her research and the secrets she discovered in Oprah’s own autobiography, which was
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You wrote that you had met Oprah years ago. At what point did you begin thinking about writing about her?
KITTY KELLEY: Decades later. I had absolutely no intention or idea at the time. It just was one of those coincidences. And I remembered it so well. It was in 1981, and I was promoting a book in Baltimore. But I didn’t decide to write this book until 2006.
What started to get you interested in writing it?
I didn’t think I’d do another one. And I’m going to tell you now I’m never going to do another one. But I just thought her life story from the little I knew of it was absolutely fascinating. But I told my agent that that’s what I would like to do, and he said, “There is no way. Nobody is going to publish this book.” And I say, “In my contract, I have to go back to my publisher.” And we went back to my publisher, and they said no. But Crown Books thought it was a fabulous idea. And they saw it the same way as I saw it. I thought the life story was unbelievable. She’s so powerful and she’s had such an impact on our society, that I thought a biography that would tell people more to understand her would be great. So that’s how it came about. READ FULL STORY
The 2010 Pulitzer Prizes were announced today, and the winners included a few surprises (although sadly, still no recognition for critic extraordinaire Jay Sherman). The prize for fiction went to Paul Harding’s Tinkers, a debut novel about a clock repairman recalling his childhood on his deathbed. The book comes from Bellevue Literary Press, a nonprofit publisher operating out of a tiny office at New York University’s School of Medicine since 2005.
The Pulitzers for history and biography went to, respectively, Liaquat Ahamed’s Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, about the Great Depression and T.J. Stiles’ robber-baron bio The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Here’s the full list of those who won for books:
Fiction: Tinkers by Paul Harding
Poetry: Versed by Rae Armantrout
History: Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed
General Nonfiction: The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David E. Hoffman
Biography: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles
Hilary Mantel’s Tudor-era novel Wolf Hall won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction at a ceremony Thursday evening in New York City. The acclaimed book also won the Man Booker Prize last fall.
Blake Bailey’s Cheever: A Life won the biography prize, while 92-year-old Diana Athill’s rumination on old age, Somewhere Towards the End, won for autobiography. The nonfiction prize went to Richard Holmes’ The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science.
Rae Armantrout’s aptly titled Versed won for poetry and Eula Biss’ Notes From No Man’s Land took the criticism prize.
In addition, the uber-prolific Joyce Carol Oates received a lifetime achievement award from the NBCC, which has bestowed awards annually since 1974. In addition, veteran New Yorker writer Joan Accocela accepted the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.
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