Saturday's Child: A Memoir

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9780393050158: Saturday's Child: A Memoir

The fascinating narrative of an amazing life: from child TV star to poet and feminist activist.

Robin Morgan is known as a prize-winning author, a political theorist, and a founder of the contemporary women's movement. But these adult accomplishments eclipsed an earlier fame. "Saturday's child has to work for a living," and Morgan has--since the age of two. She was a tot model, had her own radio show at age four, and was a child star on television, including on the popular series "Mama." Unlike most child actors, she emerged to reinvent a life filled with literary achievement and constructive politics.

Here Morgan tells the whole story--the years as a child so famous she was named "The Ideal American Girl," her fight to become a serious writer, marriage to a fiery bisexual poet, motherhood, lovers (male and female), and decades working on civil rights, the radical underground, and global feminism. This is the intensely personal, behind-the-scenes story of her life.

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Review:

Robin Morgan's brisk yet reflective memoir has all of the political and personal bite that you'd expect from someone who came out of the New Left to join the militant wing of the women's movement. It's written also with the elegance and formidable recollection of physical and emotional details that distinguish her poetry (Monster) and fiction (Dry Your Smile). And it contains a marvelously evocative rendering of what it was like to be a child star in 1940s radio ("The Little Robin Morgan Show") and 1950s television (Dagmar on "Mama") In short, there's little that this remarkable woman hasn't experienced and/or written about. Here, she goes lightly over the heady years of resurgent feminism (covered more fully in Sisterhood Is Powerful and Going Too Far), and concentrates instead on exploring less public areas of her life: her fraught relationship with her mother, who managed the performing career that young Robin didn't want, really; her single meeting with the father who abandoned them (described with a refreshing lack of sentimentality); her unconventional marriage to Kenneth Pitchford, which produced a beloved son and endured for more than 20 years, despite Pitchford's homosexuality; and her two long-term relationships with women. Naturally, there are political insights throughout (the first, expressed in a diary entry when Robin was eight), and Morgan chronicles at some length her ongoing engagement in the struggle for international women's rights. But she takes the time here to let us know the woman behind the causes more comprehensively than in her previous nonfiction; and, because she seems as self-aware as she is smart, it's a pleasure to make her further acquaintance. --Wendy Smith

About the Author:

Robin Morgan lives in New York. She is the author of A Hot January: Poems 1996-1999.

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