Barbra Streisand is ready to tell all. Raise a seat. | ET REALITY


Rick Kot, Viking’s executive editor who oversaw the book’s production, told me: “Publishing books in two volumes is difficult as a business venture. And no one seems to have any problem with Streisand’s length.

Its greatness makes the career it contains literal. Streisand is poring, pouring outside, his life. He’s fumbling, remembering, and sometimes Googling as he writes. It is not a book that is inhaled per se. (Unless, of course, you have an urgent lunch date with the author.) Nor does it inspire the “five takeaways” treatment of Britney Spears and Jada Pinkett Smith’s juicy new memoir. Not that there weren’t requests for racier material. Streisand said Christine Pittel, his editor, told him “that he had to leave some blood on the page.” So the feelings are more deeply rooted; names are named.

And she made some hesitation. “I was really late turning in the book,” she said. “I think she was supposed to turn it in in two years.” It took her 10. And as she moved forward, she thought about her legacy. “If you want to read about me in 20 or 50 years, whatever it may be, if there is still a world These are my words. These are my thoughts.” He also considered those other Streisand titles, other people’s titles. “Hopefully, you won’t have to look at too many books written about me. You know, every time they told me what they said, certain things, I thought, who are they talking about?

There are takeaway. But they are too chronic to qualify as “current.” Mainly, they have to do with Streisand’s hunger for work and his endless quest to maintain control over it. Singing and acting made her famous. This insistence on perfection made her famous. Sexism and chauvinism are displayed throughout the book. But what is evident is that the woman who has a “directed by” credit on only three films (“Yentl,” “The Prince of Tides,” and “The Looking Glass Has Two Faces”) had been a director since the beginning of his career. career. Here is the great revelation of the book, for the reader but also for the author. “I didn’t know,” she said, about this propensity for management, planning, vision, authority and obeying her instincts. “But when writing the book I discovered it. “I was basically doing that, you know, when I was 19, or even teaching my mom how to smoke.”

Streisand does not forgive the betrayal she faced at work, collaborating with men. Sydney Chaplin (one of Charlie’s children) played the original Nick Arnstein during her Broadway run of “Funny Girl”; They shared a flirtation that Chaplin wanted to consummate and that Streisand wanted to keep professional. Her (For one thing, she was married to Elliott Gould). Then, she writes, Chaplin did a number on her. In front of a live audience, he would lean in to whisper insults and bad words. When it came time to shoot “Hello, Dolly!”, Streisand couldn’t understand why co-star Walter Matthau and his director, Gene Kelly (yes, he Gene Kelly) were very hostile towards her. She confronts Matthau and he confesses, “You hurt my friend,” referring to Chaplin, her poker partner. Throughout her career, she confronts what a surly camera operator, on the set of “The Prince of Tides,” boasts is a boys’ club.

That’s the kind of blood that gives this book its power, not the prospect that a downright clumsy Brando and a loving Pierre Trudeau are sincere soulmates, or whatever her Byzantine thing with Jon Peters was. It’s just that Barbra Streisand endured a parade of tough workplaces but she never stopped trying to do the best job. That experience of hers with Chaplin left her with stage fright that would last a lifetime. But what if she also helped sharpen her will to do things (in the studio, on a film set, before a show) exactly, possibly obsessively, right?

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