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Part Swan, Part Goose: An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work, and Family Hardcover – 25 Jun 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 327 pages
  • Publisher: Perigree Bks.,U.S. (25 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399168508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399168505
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,084,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

In a wise, warmhearted memoir that celebrates her extraordinary life and stellar career, Swoosie Kurtz shares just the right combination of personal misadventure and showbiz lore, candidly reflecting on the right choices that empowered her, the wrong

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Snickers on 13 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Enchanting and beautifully written.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 26 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Good Memoir 29 April 2014
By B Farrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an enjoyable story about Swoosie Kurtz and her life. We get to learn how she came to be named "Swoosie" and what it was like growing up with her parents. She shares what it is like to to dedicate your life to an acting career. Swoosie also shares little tidbits of her mothers writings within the book. Also on a deeper more intimate level we read about her relationship with her mother and her descent into the years of an aging parent. The role of caretaker is reversed and she opens up her heart and shares how she cherishes and embraces this phase of her life. I found this to be a wonderful testament to the love shared among the years between a mother, father, and daughter.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A Terrific Bio 4 May 2014
By G.I Gurdjieff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Though totally not what I expected, this so-called celebrity biography had me from the beginning. It was a combination love story, family memoir, account of an actor's life, and at times a bittersweet story of dealing with aging parents. On top of it all, there are celebrity anecdotes that range from tender to raucously funny. Names are tossed around like Carol Burnett, Joan Blondell, Sada Thompson, and even a personal favorite of mine Studs Turkel.
While delving into her past, actress Swoosie Kurtz tells about her father Olympic diver and WWII flying ace Frank Kurtz and her mother Margo Rogers Kurtz. Swoosie travels back and forth in time and describes their lives and their tight family of three that withstood separations, war, and a multitude of moves around the United States before the family landed in Toluca Lake, CA and Swoosie started high school. The book covers Kurtz's mother's Omaha, Nebraska based extended family and humorously also gives a nod to Warren Buffett who was a relative of a relative, etc.
Also covered in detail are the never married Swoosie's career, romances, and life as an actress and her enduring bond with parents who gave her everything including confidence and the ability to persevere.
This book is so well written and edited that it is a quick read despite covering a lot of territory and being crammed with detail. Kurtz parses her words carefully and manages to convey a lot of information without becoming boring, repetitive or tedious. While I expected a fairly typical celebrity biography, this one was accentuated by personal recollections and an appreciation of family. Aside from apparently being a thoughtful person and amazingly a celebrity with minimal ego, Swoosie is a funny lady who inherited her disposition from both of her parents.
Beautifully written, I highly endorse this book. I found myself caring about Kurtz and her family. In fact, if this memoir never went beyond Swoosie and her family I wouldn't have cared in the slightest. They were a fascinating trio as were their extended family. This is the family everyone would like to be part of.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good book 14 May 2014
By ccas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Worth the read. I appreciated the honesty in her struggles with her aging parents. I took care of my Dad during his last years and its tough and it's tender. No one does it perfect and we always feel guilty about some of it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating And Fun 9 May 2014
By Cris Cohen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It is non-fiction that reads like fiction. In fact, if someone had tried to pack this much into a fictional story, people would have said it was unrealistic. Ms. Kurtz has been in some great plays, movies, and TV shows, but in some ways those productions do not measure up to the story of her own life.

What is especially nice, though, is that it feels like a friend telling you stories. The writing is relaxed. It is comfortable. Nowadays a lot of biographies and autobiographies either read like a college text book or an extremely long press release. "Part Swan, Part Goose" is written in an easy-going style by someone who obviously knows how to keep people interested and entertained.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Award-Winning Actress Spins an Engaging & Moving Memoir 11 Jun. 2014
By Librarian's Pal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This engaging memoir by the Tony and Emmy award winning actress not only charts her life on stage, screen and TV but also her relationship with her parents. Her mother wrote a wartime memoir back in the 1940s and each of Swoosie's chapters begins with a snippet from that book. SO, it's almost a dual memoir.

There's not a lot of kissing and telling, although we do find out that she had a nearly decade-long relationship with Brent Spiner (before he achieved fame as Data on STAR TREK: NEXT GENERATION). The work is what was always most important in her life and we get some great behind-the-scenes stories of the making of some icon plays (she won the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for her role as Gwen in Lanford Wilson's THE FIFTH OF JULY and later won another Tony for HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES), TV shows (she's currently co-starring on MIKE & MOLLY but was also a regular on SISTERS, HUFF, PUSHING DAISIES and the Tony Randall sitcom LOVE SIDNEY) and movies (SLAP SHOT iwth Paul Newman, WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP with Robin Williams, AGAINST ALL ODDS with Jeff Bridges, WILDCATS with Goldie Hawn, STANLEY AND IRIS with Jane Fonda and Robert DeNiro, DANGEROUS LIASONS with Glen Close, ONE CHRISTMAS with Katharine Hepburn, Alexander Payne's CITIZEN RUTH, LIAR LIAR with Jim Carrey...and on and on). There are excellent behind-the-scenes tales about them all.

(How many people knew she co-starred in a 1980 production of WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? at New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre featuring Mike Nichols and Elaine May as George and Martha? She's got great tales about that production!)

The last third of the follows how her life changed (and was enhanced) when her mother (now 99 years old) moved in with her when her mother began showing signs of Alzheimer's. A moving tale, well-told.
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