The successful New York career woman and the founder of Lear's magazine speaks frankly about her celebrated Hollywood producer husband; her role as mother, activist, and journalist; her alcoholism; childhood sexual abuse; manic depression; and more. 100,000 first printing.
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The founder of Lear's magazine and ex-wife of producer Norman Lear tells all and then some in a disturbing memoir that is searingly frank--though infuriatingly sketchy on biographical detail. Born in 1923 to an unmarried teenage mother in Hudson, N.Y., Lear was adopted by Herb and Aline Loeb. Aline was vain and deeply self-absorbed; Herb killed himself when Lear was ten. Sent as a teenager to a psychiatrist, Lear described how her new stepfather had been sexually abusing her for years. The psychiatrist told her mother and stepfather, her mother sided with the abuser, and Lear left home for good. Two failed marriages, retailing jobs in N.Y.C., and a succession of men followed. In 1956, at age 34, Lear moved to L.A. and married Norman Lear. As a character, the famed TV producer is almost completely absent here, although an abstract meditation on infidelity in Hollywood reads as a veiled reference to an unhappy marriage. Frances Lear went on to raise two daughters, divorce, and begin her magazine--all while battling manic- depressive illness. No subject is taboo here: Lear describes lesbian affairs, a stint in a mental institution, sex with her therapist, a dependence on marijuana, and difficult and needy relationships with men. Her deepest probings are of the depressive cycles of her illness and her suicidal urges. But while her full- tilt pursuit of the uncomfortable, the painful, and the unsavory may be admirable, Lear's eschewal of chronology, context, or any acknowledgement of her obviously considerable strengths detracts from her memoir's accessibility. In all: an autobiography of abundant courage but only middling insight. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Lear certainly fits the reader profile of the magazine that bears her name: "the woman who wasn't born yesterday." Her life, recounted here, is jam packed with disastrous experience: abandonment at birth; adoption by an unmaternal woman and a man who soon after committed suicide; sexual abuse by a stepfather; and her own depression bouts (one leading to the Bellevue psych ward) intermingled with three marriages and forays into lesbianism. While Lear's first-person take on these events has its own peculiar power, it also has surprising and enormous gaps. There is little on Norman Lear, her most famous husband, or the magazine she launched from that divorce money. Still, while readers may expect other things from this autobiography, it will probably have curiosity value for fans of the magazine and could serve as a recovery book of sorts for those suffering from sexual abuse/depression. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/92.
- Judy Quinn, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Perennial, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. very minor shelf wear, non publisher remainder mark on bottom edge of pages, otherwise excellent condition. Bookseller Inventory # 017087
Book Description Perennial, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110060975490