Women Writers Reading Challenge #18: Streisand: A Biography by Anne Edwards

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I’m a huge fan of biographies of old stars and personalities, especially women: Marilyn Monroe, Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn. I don’t know if Barbra Streisand qualifies as an old star, as her first Hollywood musical was made at the end of the musical heyday, but she has always fascinated me, and I was glad when Mom and I found this biography about her at an estate sale.

I didn’t know very much about Streisand before reading this book, so I learned quite a bit about her. Anne Edwards writes very well. Her book is engaging and moves quickly, something that can’t usually be said for biographies.

Since Streisand is still alive and continuing her career (and she certainly was when the book was published in the late 90s), it doesn’t have the same perspective other biographies have. It can’t discuss the entire arc of her career or her legacy–not that I want Streisand to go anywhere–it’s just different from many biographies I’ve read. I’ve also discovered, this again is no reflection on the book, that I am not all that interested in recent history. Past the 1960s I have to work really hard to stay engaged in what I’m reading. I really try to stick with it though because every era has a story to tell, and I’m glad I stuck with this book because Streisand becomes even more interesting as she asserts more control over the material as producer and director. If you like Streisand and want to learn more about her career, you won’t be disappointed by this book.

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