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Still Here: The Madcap, Nervy, Singular Life of Elaine Stritch
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2019
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One of The New Yorker's favorite nonfiction book of 2019 | A New York Times Book Review Editors' ChoiceNamed one of Vogue's "17 Books We Can't Wait to Read This Fall""Compulsively readable . . . ravenously consuming . . . manna from heaven . . . If ever someone knew how to put a genuinely irresistible book together, it's Jacobs in Still Here." —Jeff Simon, The Buffalo NewsStill Here is the first full telling of Elaine Stritch's life. Rollicking but intimate, it tracks one of Broadway's great personalities from her upbringing in Detroit during the Great Depression to her fateful move to New York City, where she studied alongside Marlon Brando, Bea Arthur, and Harry Belafonte. We accompany Elaine through her jagged rise to fame, to Hollywood and London, and across her later years, when she enjoyed a stunning renaissance, punctuated by a turn on the popular television show 30 Rock. We explore the influential—and often fraught—collaborations she developed with Noël Coward, Tennessee Williams, and above all Stephen Sondheim, as well as her courageous yet flawed attempts to control a serious drinking problem. And we see the entertainer triumphing over personal turmoil with the development of her Tony Award–winning one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, which established her as an emblem of spiky independence and Manhattan life for an entirely new generation of admirers.In Still Here, Alexandra Jacobs conveys the full force of Stritch's sardonic wit and brassy charm while acknowledging her many dark complexities. Following years of meticulous research and interviews, this is a portrait of a powerful, vulnerable, honest, and humorous figure who continues to reverberate in the public consciousness.

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Street Date:
10/22/2019
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780374714659
ASIN:
B07MYXGGH6
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APA Citation (style guide)

Alexandra Jacobs. (2019). Still Here: The Madcap, Nervy, Singular Life of Elaine Stritch. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Alexandra Jacobs. 2019. Still Here: The Madcap, Nervy, Singular Life of Elaine Stritch. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Alexandra Jacobs, Still Here: The Madcap, Nervy, Singular Life of Elaine Stritch. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Alexandra Jacobs. Still Here: The Madcap, Nervy, Singular Life of Elaine Stritch. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Named a favorite nonfiction book of 2019 by The New Yorker

"Compulsively readable . . . ravenously consuming . . . manna from heaven . . . If ever someone knew how to put a genuinely irresistible book together, it's Jacobs in Still Here." —Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News

Still Here is the first full telling of Elaine Stritch's life. Rollicking but intimate, it tracks one of Broadway's great personalities from her upbringing in Detroit during the Great Depression to her fateful move to New York City, where she studied alongside Marlon Brando, Bea Arthur, and Harry Belafonte. We accompany Elaine through her jagged rise to fame, to Hollywood and London, and across her later years, when she enjoyed a stunning renaissance, punctuated by a turn on the popular television show 30 Rock. We explore the influential—and often fraught—collaborations she developed with Noël Coward, Tennessee...

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title
Still Here
fullDescription

One of The New Yorker's favorite nonfiction book of 2019 | A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Named one of Vogue's "17 Books We Can't Wait to Read This Fall"
"Compulsively readable . . . ravenously consuming . . . manna from heaven . . . If ever someone knew how to put a genuinely irresistible book together, it's Jacobs in Still Here." —Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News

Still Here
is the first full telling of Elaine Stritch's life. Rollicking but intimate, it tracks one of Broadway's great personalities from her upbringing in Detroit during the Great Depression to her fateful move to New York City, where she studied alongside Marlon Brando, Bea Arthur, and Harry Belafonte. We accompany Elaine through her jagged rise to fame, to Hollywood and London, and across her later years, when she enjoyed a stunning renaissance, punctuated by a turn on the popular television show 30 Rock. We explore the influential—and often fraught—collaborations she developed with Noël Coward, Tennessee Williams, and above all Stephen Sondheim, as well as her courageous yet flawed attempts to control a serious drinking problem. And we see the entertainer triumphing over personal turmoil with the development of her Tony Award–winning one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, which established her as an emblem of spiky independence and Manhattan life for an entirely new generation of admirers.
In Still Here, Alexandra Jacobs conveys the full force of Stritch's sardonic wit and brassy charm while acknowledging her many dark complexities. Following years of meticulous research and interviews, this is a portrait of a powerful, vulnerable, honest, and humorous figure who continues to reverberate in the public consciousness.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Sarah Silverman
      • content: "Elaine Stritch brought a raw truth to musical theater that had rarely been seen before or since. Her whole self--warts, drinks, and all. In this biography, Alexandra Jacobs shows Stritch's every pore, and we are all better for it."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 1, 2019
        New York Times editor Jacobs explores the life of colorful and brash actor Elaine Stritch (1925–2014) in this celebratory biography. Stritch was born in Detroit, Mich., into a middle-class Catholic family and moved to New York City in 1943 “in pursuit of fun, music, nightclubs, and theater.” So began a legendary, boozy career that would include roles on Broadway (in Noël Coward’s Sail Away and Stephen Sondheim’s Company, among many others), in films (Woody Allen’s September and Small Time Crooks), and on television (most notably in Tina Fey’s 30 Rock). Jacobs moves meticulously through Stritch’s decades on the stage, from her audition for the road company of Oklahoma! shortly after her arrival in New York, to such achievements as her 2002 Tony Award–winning one-woman show At Liberty. The author covers Stritch’s complicated relationships with men (including her sex-deprived marriage to actor John Bay), her loneliness, and her struggles with alcoholism. She captures Stritch’s big personality through amusing stories, including the time Stritch smuggled her dog into England in a bag. Jacobs ends by praising Stritch for her “wit, resilience, unusual forthrightness, and courage.” This book, lush with detail and heavy on Broadway history, will appeal to Stritch fans and theater geeks everywhere.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 1, 2019
        New York Times features writer and cultural critic Jacobs makes her book debut with a biography of the glamorous, outspoken entertainer Elaine Stritch (1925-2014). Stritch's career spanned nearly seven decades, ending in an acclaimed one-woman show that earned her the Tony Award she had long coveted. As an actress and singer, she had middling success, usually hired for a part when a bigger name was unavailable, or when a show went on national tour, or for summer stock. Often, she lost out to Angela Lansbury, who won many of the roles Stritch wanted: as Auntie Mame, for example, which made Lansbury "a definitive star of the musical theater," and as Madame Rose in Gypsy. "I'm sick of Angela Lansbury," Stritch once remarked. "I'm sick of people doing parts that I should be doing." In 1961, her performance in Noel Coward's Sail Away won accolades: She turned the play "into a one-woman show," one critic wrote. "Let's keep the busy Miss Stritch busier." But there were problems in keeping her busy: a reputation for "being tiresome, over-full of suggestions and not knowing a word" of her lines, as Coward noted; and, increasingly, alcoholism. "They all love Elaine," Lee Israel discovered when she worked on a feature story about Stritch. "But along the way lots of people have ceased to trust her," Israel wrote. "She drinks, they say." Stritch defended drinking as "a wonderful thing for social communication," but theater critic John Lahr saw a deep vulnerability. She was "the most panic-struck person I ever knew," he observed, "a hysteric, and completely terrified." In an engaging, thoroughly researched narrative, Jacobs chronicles Stritch's career, boosted by working with Stephen Sondheim and Woody Allen; her half-hearted attempts to get on the wagon; her friendships, romances, and marriage; kleptomania and refusal to pay restaurant tabs; and brazen money-grubbing. Put up at a Florida hotel for an event, for example, she brought her entire winter wardrobe for dry-cleaning "at the production's expense." A sharply drawn portrait of an ambitious, fierce, and complicated woman.

        COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 30, 2019

        Spoiler alert...she's not, y'know, still here (Elaine Stritch died in 2014), although in the sense in which the title is intended (a reference to "I'm Still Here," from Stephen Sondheim's Follies), Elaine ain't going away anytime soon. For better or, most likely, a whole lot worse, they don't make them like Stritch anymore. A fixture on Broadway's musical and dramatic stages for decades, with numerous television and film credits in her 50-plus-year career, Stritch is perhaps best known for her Emmy Award-winning performance as the mother of Alec Baldwin's Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock, the fierce and sardonic Colleen. Here, New York Times journalist and cultural critic Jacobs presents a thoroughly researched and documented life story of a talented and complicated actor. A highly functioning alcoholic, Stritch could drink like a fish and curse like a sailor, and her acting and vocal chops culminated in her 1995 induction into the American Theater Hall of Fame. Stories and anecdotes abound from the cornucopia of professional colleagues and artists interviewed to illuminate her work with, among many others, Sondheim, Noel Coward, and Tennessee Williams. VERDICT An excellent biography of a true American theater original. For all performing arts collections. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]--Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX

        Copyright 2019 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        September 15, 2019
        Elaine Stritch's lifelong friendship with gossip columnist Liz Smith helped boost her early image in the 1940s and '50s as a leggy, not-quite-ing�nue who could drink anyone under the table. But the Stritch presented here is a study in contrasts: she came off as a brassy freewheeler, but she was na�ve enough to think Rock Hudson had a crush on her; she was a self-described strong woman, yet the women's movement didn't dent her staunch apoliticality. Several themes repeat: her haphazard Catholicism, her reliance on alcohol to perform both on stage and in life, and a need for approval that got her labelled difficult and demanding. And she was difficult: she hogged the spotlight while she lamented her low billing. But even in her biggest flops, critics loved her. This was the key to her long-lasting appeal: she had an uncanny ability to play to an audience. This dishy biography will be a ride for the theatrically inclined as Stritch's 70-year career crosses those of Marlon Brando, Ethel Merman, No�l Coward, Angela Lansbury, Bea Arthur, and, of course, Hal Prince and Stephen Sondheim.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

subtitle
The Madcap, Nervy, Singular Life of Elaine Stritch
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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