My Judy Garland Life by Susie Boyt
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My Judy Garland Life
By Susie Boyt

My Judy Garland Life

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Format: Paperback

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My Judy Garland Life by Susie Boyt

Book Awards

  • Commended for PEN/Ackerley Prize 2009.

Book Description

Fascinating and extraordinary, thrilling and poignant, My Judy Garland Life will speak to anyone who has ever nursed an obsession or held a candle to a star. Judy Garland has been an important figure in Susie Boyt's life since she was three years old, comforting, inspiring and at times disturbing her. In this unique book, Boyt travels deep into the underworld of hero worship, reviewing through the prism of Judy our understanding of rescue, addiction, love, grief and fame. What does it mean to adore someone you don't know? What is the proper husbandry of a twenty-first century obsession? Boyt's journey takes in a duetting breakfast with Mickey Rooney, a Munchkin luncheon, tea with the largest collector of Garlandia, an illicit late-night spree at the Minnesota Judy Garland Museum and a breathless, semi-sacred encounter with Miss Liza Minnelli . .

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781844085767
ISBN-10: 1844085767
Format: Paperback
(192mm x 151mm x 25mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Virago Press Ltd
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 2-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Susie Boyt

Small Hours by Susie Boyt Small Hours, Paperback (July 2013)

A wonderful and startling novel about the havoc and pain, healing and love that comes with growing up in a family. Like A.L. Kennedy and Ali Smith, Susie Boyt is an exquisite writer, thoughtful and truly original.

My Judy Garland Life by Susie Boyt My Judy Garland Life, Paperback (June 2009)

* An irresistible mixture of memoir, biography, cultural analysis, experiment and hero-worship about one person's enduring obsession

Only Human by Susie Boyt Only Human, Paperback (March 2005)

A subtle and intimate portrayal of contemporary life

» View all books by Susie Boyt


US Kirkus Review » Fashion columnist/novelist Boyt (Only Human, 2004, etc.) obsesses over a life obsessed with Judy Garland."[Judy] was my life in purest form," writes the author, "encapsulating and refining all the things that interested me most." Like Garland, Boyt had a traumatic start. She was born into a broken home and was often overweight and overwrought. She also liked to sing and, as she flirted with a performing career, longed for the stage mother she didn't have. (Garland's daughter Lorna Luft later suggested to the author that children should not be robbed of childhood.) Like millions of others, Boyt was transfixed by an early screening of The Wizard of Oz, identifying intensely with the film's star. Her memoir tends to circle in adulatory generalizations about Garland, occasionally getting specific to make somewhat tenuous connections between the two lives. Garland's "flicker of lip and eye" in a frame from Meet Me in St. Louis launches the author's recollections of her own Christmases. A telling essay about Garland's schooling between takes at Metro leads to Boyt's ruminations about emotional and physical hunger. Boyt's insight into Garland's work is mostly uneven, but she scores with an analysis of the failure of Garland's TV series in the mid-'60s. The author posits that the devastation wrought by the cancellation contributed to the singer's demise. Along the way, Boyt offers sharp but too-brief profiles of Garland's fans and co-workers, including cabaret performer Mary Cleere Haran, who comes off as rather testy, and a quickly glimpsed Mickey Rooney, who appears grumpy and enigmatic. Boyt's anxieties prior to an interview with Liza Minnelli may exhaust reader patience, but the interview itself, however sketchy, rewards with its quick, telling details. The author's parting observation - "I have navigated my life under her [Garland's] star" - comes as no surprise.Even die-hard Garland fans may wish Boyt's ardor had limits. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Susie Boyt

Susie Boyt is the author of four acclaimed novels and writes a weekly column about fashion for the Financial Times. She also works part time as a bereavement counsellor

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