Reviews for Cyndi Lauper : A Memoir


Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #1
With the assistance of Dunn (Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?: And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Ask, 2009, etc.), Lauper tells her alternately harrowing, hopeful and hilarious life story. The author left her home in Ozone Park, Queens, at age 17 to escape a sexually abusive stepfather and the limitations on life--especially for women--imposed by a hardscrabble working-class neighborhood and male-dominated family culture. "As a kid," she writes, "I heard a lot of sad stories about women." What followed was years of marginal existence, odd jobs (including a stint as a topless dancer) and very little money. Her life change in 1983, however, with the release of She's So Unusual, which garnered four top-five hits and made Lauper an instant star. Other hits followed, including the anthemic True Colors (1986). Inevitably, her superstar aura faded, but her eclectic musical output did not. Throughout, she struggled to remain true to her artistic values. In the music industry, she was "surrounded by men," most of whom were "trying to remake meā€¦and I didn't want to be remade." Regardless, Lauper continued to release significant albums, ranging from pop to club music to standards to blues, all of it infused with her own musical vision and a penchant both for remembering the flawed beauty of Ozone Park ("I always felt I could find Shakespeare right in my neighborhood") and a determined identification with outsiders--especially women and members of the GLBT community. This identification turned into activism as her True Colors Foundation has worked to help and protect GLBT youth and promote tolerance. Though not as literary, Lauper's story echoes the hopes of a struggling artist portrayed in Patti Smith's Just Kids. A moving story of an American musical original. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

----------------------
Library Journal Reviews 2012 May #2

For girls (and others) who want to have fun: a memoir from Lauper, who's sold more than 30 million albums globally and has been nominated for a stack of awards, including 14 Grammys. She starts here with her tough early years, when she abandoned home at age 17 and survived by her wits--and doing things like cleaning a Hare Krishna temple for free food. Then came the glories and (inevitable) hardships of fame.

[Page 60]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

----------------------
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 September #2

Here, the legendary singer and style icon guides readers through her life journey, beginning in Ozone Park, Queens, where she grew up and from whence she fled a lecherous stepfather at age 17. Lauper honed her musical craft over years of playing clubs while working a bizarre assortment of odd jobs--from receptionist at the Simon & Schuster publishing house, to cleaning a Hare Krishna temple in exchange for food, and entertaining businessmen at a Japanese piano bar in midtown Manhattan--before finally breaking out with 1983's She's So Unusual. She discusses at length the composition process, as well as the constant struggle to maintain creative control in the midst of pushy producers and record execs. In addition to the nitty-gritty of the music business, Lauper holds forth on feminism, fame, and the bizarre feeling of being "totally sucked up and taken" into the loving arms of pop culture. She writes powerfully of losing her close friend Gregory to AIDS in the late '80s, an experience that inspired songs like "Boy Blue" and prompted Lauper to found the True Colors Fund, a gay rights advocacy group. Lauper is fearless in describing some of her most painful moments-- including a sexual assault by a band mate, an abortion, and crippling depression--but her story is also loaded with lighter anecdotes and behind-the-scenes dirt. This is a terrific look inside the mind of an incredibly gifted, delightfully eccentric musician. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

----------------------
Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Here, the legendary singer and style icon guides readers through her life journey, beginning in Ozone Park, Queens, where she grew up and from whence she fled a lecherous stepfather at age 17. Lauper honed her musical craft over years of playing clubs while working a bizarre assortment of odd jobs--from receptionist at the Simon & Schuster publishing house, to cleaning a Hare Krishna temple in exchange for food, and entertaining businessmen at a Japanese piano bar in midtown Manhattan--before finally breaking out with 1983's She's So Unusual. She discusses at length the composition process, as well as the constant struggle to maintain creative control in the midst of pushy producers and record execs. In addition to the nitty-gritty of the music business, Lauper holds forth on feminism, fame, and the bizarre feeling of being "totally sucked up and taken" into the loving arms of pop culture. She writes powerfully of losing her close friend Gregory to AIDS in the late '80s, an experience that inspired songs like "Boy Blue" and prompted Lauper to found the True Colors Fund, a gay rights advocacy group. Lauper is fearless in describing some of her most painful moments-- including a sexual assault by a band mate, an abortion, and crippling depression--but her story is also loaded with lighter anecdotes and behind-the-scenes dirt. This is a terrific look inside the mind of an incredibly gifted, delightfully eccentric musician. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

----------------------