Diane Keaton & Anna Quindlen
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NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Janet Maslin, The New York Times • People • Vogue
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
—Financial Times • Chicago Sun-Times
The Independent • Bookreporter
The Sunday Business Post
Mom loved adages, quotes, slogans. There were always little reminders pasted on the kitchen wall. For example, the word THINK. I found THINK thumbtacked on a bulletin board in her darkroom. I saw it Scotch-taped on a pencil box she’d collaged. I even found a pamphlet titled THINK on her bedside table. Mom liked to THINK.
So begins Diane Keaton’s unforgettable memoir about her mother and herself. In it you will meet the woman known to tens of millions as Annie Hall, but you will also meet, and fall in love with, her mother, the loving, complicated, always-thinking Dorothy Hall. To write about herself, Diane realized she had to write about her mother, too, and how their bond came to define both their lives. In a remarkable act of creation, Diane not only reveals herself to us, she also lets us meet in intimate detail her mother. Over the course of her life, Dorothy kept eighty-five journals—literally thousands of pages—in which she wrote about her marriage, her children, and, most probingly, herself. Dorothy also recorded memorable stories about Diane’s grandparents. Diane has sorted through these pages to paint an unflinching portrait of her mother—a woman restless with intellectual and creative energy, struggling to find an outlet for her talents—as well as her entire family, recounting a story that spans four generations and nearly a hundred years.
More than the autobiography of a legendary actress, Then Again is a book about a very American family with very American dreams. Diane will remind you of yourself, and her bonds with her family will remind you of your own relationships with those you love the most.
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Diane Keaton does a sweet, if not memorable job to the remembrance of her mother. A mother that had such a deep impact in a positive way, but could not see how transforming and monumental her contribution was to Keaton and her three siblings.
As Keaton climbs the ladder to fame, she never looses sight of a mother that laid the groundwork for her own eccentricities that are stretched back to the maternal forces of her grandmothers, as well.
"Then Again" makes mention of Keaton's relationships and dalliances with her leading men - Woody, Al Pacino and Warren Beatty. She describes one of her last movies with Jack Nicholson as her favorite, yet in Diane's soul and being her mother in her own right remains in the forefront.
This book was refreshing, we as women can never hear, feel or see too much of our cultivation and impact we have on the next generation. I would recommend this book to anyone who recognizes the importance of family, and appreciates how someone like Diane Keaton never lost sights of her roots and inspiration.
Perhaps I was expecting too much from Diane Keaton. For me the best description of her memoir, Then Again, is tedious. I had to listen to Ms. Keaton read her mother's journal, listing all her daily activities, from I brushed my teeth with hydrogen peroxide to I washed my hair with Pantene and conditioned it with Silkience. Granted, Diane Keaton's mother played a pivotal role in her development but I think the story could have been written in a more dynamic way. After five and half hours of listening, and learning little about Ms. Keaton other than she is closely bonded with her family, I gave up.
Then Again is a beautiful Journey through Diane Keaton's life, told through the interweaving of her memories and those lifted from her mother's tattered journals. Her story is as ordinary as it is remarkable. But it is the juxtaposition of mother and daughter, both searching to be and express themselves, whether in words, pictures, or moving pictures that resonated with me as a woman, mother, and daughter. A fun and touching story of love for a mother, a daughter and motherhood. I wear my boxy jackets and Annie Hall hats with even more pride than before.