Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Norris Church Mailer's five favorite memoirs

Norris Church Mailer is the author of A Ticket to the Circus: A Memoir (Random House, 2010).

For the Wall Street Journal, she named her five favorite memoirs. One title on her list:
By Myself and Then Some, by Lauren Bacall, Harper, 2005

Betty Bacall is one of the scant few women who have actually lived the secret dream of every girl in America: to be discovered by the editor of a magazine, put on the cover and then turned into a movie star. Diana Vreeland chose her for Harper's Bazaar in 1943 at age 18; soon after, Howard Hawks cast Bacall in "To Have and Have Not" opposite Humphrey Bogart (and changed her first name to Lauren). The actors fell in love: "I was aware of being nineteen and he forty-four, but when we were together that didn't seem to matter," she writes in "By Myself and Then Some." "I was older than nineteen in many ways and he had such energy and vitality he seemed to be no particular age." In spite of the age difference and his hard-drinking past, Bogart was the man for her. She knew it in her gut. They had an idyllic 11 years and two children together before death took him. Then truly alone, this tough, smart woman invented herself all over again, as a mature movie star, Broadway actress and author.
Read about the other memoirs on Mailer's list.

--Marshal Zeringue