Chanel Bonfire: A Book Club Recommendation!

Wendy Lawless (Author)
Available

Description

In her stunning memoir, Wendy Lawless tells the often heartbreaking tale of her unconventional upbringing with an unstable alcoholic and suicidal mother--a real-life Holly Golightly turned Mommie Dearest--and the uncommon sense of resilience that allowed her to rise above it all.

Georgann Rea didn't bake cookies or go to PTA meetings; she wore a mink coat and always had a lit Dunhill plugged into her cigarette holder. She'd slept with too many men and a few women, and she didn't like dogs or chil-dren. Georgann possessed the icy beauty of a Hitchcock heroine with the cold heart to match.

From living at the Dakota in 1960s Manhattan to London's swinging town houses and beyond, Wendy Lawless and her younger sister navigated day-to-day life as their unstable and fabulously neglectful mother, Georgann, chased her delusions, suffered dramatic breakdowns, and survived suicide attempts. With clear-eyed grace and flashing wit, Lawless portrays the highs and lows of her unhinged upbringing--and how she survived her mother's endlessly destructive search for glamour and fulfillment--in "a searing memoir that reads like a novel" (Anne Korkeakivi, An Unexpected Guest).

Product Details

Price
$16.00
Publisher
Gallery Books
Publish Date
November 12, 2013
Pages
295
Dimensions
5.5 X 1.0 X 8.2 inches | 0.7 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781476745480
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Wendy Lawless is an actress who has appeared on television, in regional theater, Off-Broadway in David Ives's Obie Award-winning play All in the Timing, and on Broadway in The Heidi Chronicles. She lives in California with her screenwriter husband and their two children.

Reviews

"Lawless's chronicles of life with her charming, wildly unstable mother could be bleak, but the author's wit, resilience, and compassion make her story illuminating and inspiring."--Reader's Digest
"[A] quick but powerful read that you can only wish was fiction."--USA Today
"Lawless leavens her harrowing story with biting humor and never descends into self-pity--but boy, do we feel for her."--People
Chanel Bonfire is provocative and affecting, sometimes humorous, and filled with sadness and loneliness. Wendy tells her story in a stunning, straightforward manner that is very moving.--All Books Considered "Publishers Weekly"
Lawless, a Broadway actress and essayist, keepsher prose straight forward, letting the story shine in this shockinglyentertaining memoir."--Aritzia.com "Publishers Weekly"
Frequently entertaining chronicle of a daughter's sad, detached upbringing.--Kirkus
"[A] darkly comic memoir...[Lawless] chronicles her mother's decline from sparkling femme fatale to desperate drunk in this simultaneously chilling and hilarious tale, whose unmistakable message is that though Lawless has, in some ways, led a privileged life, she never got the one thing she most wanted: her mother's love.--O Magazine
A searing memoir that reads like a novel, as Lawless's beautiful, unstable mother careens through the swinging sixties and seventies in New York, London, Paris and Morocco, two captive blond daughters in tow, before bottoming out in Boston. What astonishes is the author's ability to tell her often hair-raising story of survival not only with lucidity and fluency but wry humor.--Anne Korkeakivi, author of An Unexpected Guest
"[A] wrought and engaging memoir."--Anne Korkeakivi, author of An Unexpected Guest "Publishers Weekly"
"I was blown away by Wendy's ability to tell the story of such an emotional, troubled upbringing with such heart, love, and oftentimes, humor. If she isn't bitter, maybe none of us have the right to be. I found her story riveting."--Sarah Colonna, New York Times bestselling author of Life as I Blow It "Publishers Weekly"
Mothers, in spite of what we wish desperately to believe, are sometimes very, very bad at taking care of children. Wendy Lawless survived her mother's flagrant horror show to bear witness and record her astonishing childhood. Chanel Bonfire makes an undesirable truth more vivid: some mothers just plain suck.--Susanna Sonnenberg, New York Times bestselling author of Her Last Death and She Matters "Publishers Weekly"
"Chanel Bonfire is both terribly funny and terribly tragic, often at the same time. With remarkable clarity, wit, and grace, Wendy Lawless recounts a childhood defined by her wildly unstable mother, a woman who can morph from Grace Kelly to Joan Crawford in the blink of an eye. I laughed a lot, teared up once or twice, and called my mom to say 'I love you' once I finished."
--Cristina Alger, bestselling author of The Darlings "Publishers Weekly"
"What a heart-breaking memoir. I will never look at a blue nightgown the same way again!"
--Tim Gunn, New York Times bestselling author of Gunn's Golden Rules and Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible "Publishers Weekly"
"This miracle of a memoir is completely free from self-pity, and it's surprisingly suspenseful."--BookPage "Publishers Weekly"
"Without too much self-pity, and with a good dash of humor, Lawless recounts a childhood spent on the move."--Bust "Publishers Weekly"