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The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan

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Acclaimed biographer Patricia Bosworth recalls her emotional coming of age in 1950s New York in this memoir, a story of family, marriage, tragedy, Broadway, and art, featuring a rich cast of well-known literary and theatrical figures from the period. From Bosworth— biographer of Montgomery Clift, Diane Arbus, Marlon Brando, and Jane Fonda—comes a series of confessions about Acclaimed biographer Patricia Bosworth recalls her emotional coming of age in 1950s New York in this memoir, a story of family, marriage, tragedy, Broadway, and art, featuring a rich cast of well-known literary and theatrical figures from the period. From Bosworth— biographer of Montgomery Clift, Diane Arbus, Marlon Brando, and Jane Fonda—comes a series of confessions about her journey into womanhood. This deeply-felt memoir is the story of a woman who defied repressive 1950s conventions while being shaped by the notable men in her life. Born into privilege in San Francisco as the children of famous attorney Bartley Crum and novelist Gertrude, Patricia and her brother Bart Jr. lead charmed lives until their father’s career is ruined when he defends the Hollywood Ten. The family moves to New York, suffering greater tragedy when Bart Jr. kills himself. However, his loving spirit continues to influence Patricia as she fights to succeed as an actress and writer. Married and divorced from an abusive husband before she’s twenty, she joins the Actors Studio. She takes classes with Lee Strasberg alongside Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, and others; she works on Broadway opposite Paul Muni, Helen Hayes, and Elaine Stritch; Gore Vidal and Elia Kazan become her mentors. Her anecdotes of theatre’s Golden Age have never been told before. At the zenith of her career, about to film The Nun’s Story with Audrey Hepburn, Patricia faces a decision that changes her forever. The Men in My Life is about survival, achieving your goals, and learning to love. It’s also the story of America’s most culturally pivotal era, told through the lens of one insider’s extraordinary life.


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Acclaimed biographer Patricia Bosworth recalls her emotional coming of age in 1950s New York in this memoir, a story of family, marriage, tragedy, Broadway, and art, featuring a rich cast of well-known literary and theatrical figures from the period. From Bosworth— biographer of Montgomery Clift, Diane Arbus, Marlon Brando, and Jane Fonda—comes a series of confessions about Acclaimed biographer Patricia Bosworth recalls her emotional coming of age in 1950s New York in this memoir, a story of family, marriage, tragedy, Broadway, and art, featuring a rich cast of well-known literary and theatrical figures from the period. From Bosworth— biographer of Montgomery Clift, Diane Arbus, Marlon Brando, and Jane Fonda—comes a series of confessions about her journey into womanhood. This deeply-felt memoir is the story of a woman who defied repressive 1950s conventions while being shaped by the notable men in her life. Born into privilege in San Francisco as the children of famous attorney Bartley Crum and novelist Gertrude, Patricia and her brother Bart Jr. lead charmed lives until their father’s career is ruined when he defends the Hollywood Ten. The family moves to New York, suffering greater tragedy when Bart Jr. kills himself. However, his loving spirit continues to influence Patricia as she fights to succeed as an actress and writer. Married and divorced from an abusive husband before she’s twenty, she joins the Actors Studio. She takes classes with Lee Strasberg alongside Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, and others; she works on Broadway opposite Paul Muni, Helen Hayes, and Elaine Stritch; Gore Vidal and Elia Kazan become her mentors. Her anecdotes of theatre’s Golden Age have never been told before. At the zenith of her career, about to film The Nun’s Story with Audrey Hepburn, Patricia faces a decision that changes her forever. The Men in My Life is about survival, achieving your goals, and learning to love. It’s also the story of America’s most culturally pivotal era, told through the lens of one insider’s extraordinary life.

30 review for The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sketchbook

    It's time for La Bos to give her family bio a rest. How many times must we have it recycled...? (This is the 2d).... Nettled w suggestive Hollywood-Bwy gossip (o my!), she's at heart a cornball gossipeuse -- an easily shocked groupie. Not for the sophisticated reader.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    Somewhat disappointing. I guess I expected more cultural context about 1950s NYC. Sad story in many ways, but Bosworth is a survivor.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    3.5 A fun look at Bosworth's life in Manhattan during the '50s. I was more interested in her literary life than her theatrical background, but it was all an interesting look at that time.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Richard Jespers

    For the same reasons I enjoyed reading her biography Montgomery Clift years ago, I sucked down Patricia Bosworth’s memoir of her own life. She is not afraid to search out and write the truth of any situation and do it with dignity and empathy for involved parties. Because for about a decade she is an actor, she becomes acquainted with Montgomery Clift personally, and she approaches her subject with honesty and a certain kindness. The same can be said for her book: all of the members of her famil For the same reasons I enjoyed reading her biography Montgomery Clift years ago, I sucked down Patricia Bosworth’s memoir of her own life. She is not afraid to search out and write the truth of any situation and do it with dignity and empathy for involved parties. Because for about a decade she is an actor, she becomes acquainted with Montgomery Clift personally, and she approaches her subject with honesty and a certain kindness. The same can be said for her book: all of the members of her family are loved ones, but they are also, at times, bad actors who undermine her life. Her father is a narcissistic alcoholic attorney, a closeted homosexual (according to her mother) whose love is not entirely unconditional; he profoundly affects Patricia’s life when he commits suicide. Her mother is a published novelist (Strumpet Wind) whose career stalls and becomes an ambitious stage mother who plays on all Patricia’s insecurities: Patricia’s actions and achievements are never good enough. The relationship that affects Bosworth the most, perhaps, is her brother, Bart. When they are young they establish a special bond, with even their own form of Pig Latin which their parents cannot understand; they share that language for many years until Bart ceases to think it appropriate. A particularly effective tool peppered throughout the book are her continued conversations with Bart’s ghost. Eerie how she makes it seem as if he’s still alive as he advises her. In his teens, her brother is attracted to males and has sex with a couple of them, including a friend at an exclusive boys’ boarding school. There, after they are discovered together, the friend commits suicide, an act from which Bart never recovers. He, too, eventually kills himself before reaching the age of twenty-one. Bosworth’s father and brother are not the only men she writes about in her page-turner; she outlines in detail her love (and sexual) relationships with several different men, including two husbands. She reminisces about her acting career in which she appears on Broadway with the likes of Daniel Massey and Elaine Stritch. The highlight of this period may be when she appears with Audrey Hepburn in a film, The Nun’s Story. Nonetheless, in spite of Bosworth’s success on the stage, she comes to the realization that she can no longer bare her soul in that manner but must establish a writing career instead. And glad we are that she does. Bosworth’s book—taken from her diaries, her notes, but most of all her remembrances—is a stunning read. [I’m still amazed in this day and age how a book produced by one of the top companies in the country can make it through all that scrutiny with a typo: “I was able to slip into the wings just as Bobby begain [sic] belting out ‘I Believe in You,’ the signature number” (350). How many copyeditors overlooked this error and how many times? How many times did the author or her staff herself read the galleys? Amazing.]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Patricia Bosworth's moving and raw THE MEN IN MY LIFE is a riveting memoir of family dysfunction, comparable to Jeannette Walls's THE GLASS CASTLE and Brooke Hayward's HAYWRIRE. This unsparing and superbly written follow-up to Bosworth's 1997 memoir, ANYTHING YOUR LITTLE HEART DESIRES, focuses on the years 1953 to 1964. At 20, she marries the first man she bedded--a volatile and physically abusive painter who distances her from her family and erodes her self-esteem. When her gay younger brother Patricia Bosworth's moving and raw THE MEN IN MY LIFE is a riveting memoir of family dysfunction, comparable to Jeannette Walls's THE GLASS CASTLE and Brooke Hayward's HAYWRIRE. This unsparing and superbly written follow-up to Bosworth's 1997 memoir, ANYTHING YOUR LITTLE HEART DESIRES, focuses on the years 1953 to 1964. At 20, she marries the first man she bedded--a volatile and physically abusive painter who distances her from her family and erodes her self-esteem. When her gay younger brother commits suicide, her family splinters further. "We remained a family full of terrible silences," she writes. Her lawyer father's escalating alcoholism and prescription drug addiction leads to several suicide attempts and unsuccessful rehabs stints before he also kills himself. Adrift from her family and reeling from grief, Bosworth focuses her attention on an acting career and is accepted into Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio. She channels her suppressed emotions and forges friendships with Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, Elaine Stritch and others. Her bad romantic choices in men (including a married actor four years her father's senior), and a near-deadly abortion days before flying to Rome to film THE NUN'S STORY opposite Audrey Hepburn, finally bring an epiphany. Although she had appeared in several Broadway productions, she realizes her true passion is writing. Her friendships with Tennessee Williams and Gore Vidal point her toward this calling. Bosworth's memoir excels as both a searing and tragic family portrait and fascinating look at a budding stage career in the 1950s. Patricia Bosworth's THE MEN IN MY LIFE dissects how the suicides of her brother and father propelled her toward bad relationships and a career on stage.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    Patricia Bosworth was born into a life of privilege, and forged a stage career as well as starring alongside Audrey Hepburn in The Nun’s Story. As a member of the Actors Studio, she brushed shoulders with theatrical heavyweights Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan, and stars like Marilyn Monroe. However, her impeccable connections couldn’t save her from family tragedy (her brother and father both committed suicide), and an abusive marriage. The 1950s, as Bosworth observes, was a staid, even repressive Patricia Bosworth was born into a life of privilege, and forged a stage career as well as starring alongside Audrey Hepburn in The Nun’s Story. As a member of the Actors Studio, she brushed shoulders with theatrical heavyweights Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan, and stars like Marilyn Monroe. However, her impeccable connections couldn’t save her from family tragedy (her brother and father both committed suicide), and an abusive marriage. The 1950s, as Bosworth observes, was a staid, even repressive decade – but the creativity and rebellion of the 60s was already fermenting.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    I only wish my father was still alive so that I could ask him questions since this was during the time he was trying to be a playwright. I'm almost positive that he crossed paths with Patricia Bosworth or was close to her circle. I liked this book, especially since it brought my father to mind. I also knew a lot of the people she referenced and therefore it was interesting to me but not sure if someone who isn't familiar with NYC in the 1950's/1960's and the theatre world would appreciate this.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Arezoo

    This book was not an honest depiction of the authors life. I felt she picked and chose what event of her life ti share and what to hide. She was a spoiled and self centered girl who achieved everything in her life with help of others. She used other people to achieve what she wanted. I do not recommend this book. You will not be better off for reading this.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Beth

    I received an uncorrected proof copy of this book from HarperCollins. In this memoir, biographer Patricia Bosworth turns the lens on her own life and recounts her coming of age in 1950s New York. Patricia grew up the daughter of the famous attorney Bartley Crum and novelist Gertrude. Although on the surface their family seemed privileged, her parents' marriage seems to have been troubled and her father had a tumultuous career and suffered from alcoholism. Patricia was exceedingly fond of her rec I received an uncorrected proof copy of this book from HarperCollins. In this memoir, biographer Patricia Bosworth turns the lens on her own life and recounts her coming of age in 1950s New York. Patricia grew up the daughter of the famous attorney Bartley Crum and novelist Gertrude. Although on the surface their family seemed privileged, her parents' marriage seems to have been troubled and her father had a tumultuous career and suffered from alcoholism. Patricia was exceedingly fond of her reclusive younger brother Bart Jr. and was shattered when he killed himself while she was in college. Patricia's early adult years were also rattled by an abusive first marriage and her father's later suicide. Through it all, Patricia continued to hone her acting ability and joined the famed Actors Studio, which brought her into the same circle as Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Elaine Stritch, and Audrey Hepburn. Patricia tells her story is prose that swiftly unfolds her story, delving quickly into the traumatic suicide of her brother within the opening pages. On learning that her brother has shot himself, Patricia recounts back to one of the last times she was home with her brother, "I kept thinking of Bart at target practice. [...] The incessant crack of gunfire was so unnerving I'd run into the woods a quarter of a mile from the house and beg him to stop. He would be standing there in jeans and a T-shirt, emaciated, his head shave. He would glare at me, take aim at his target, and fire" (2). Only after his death did Patricia learn full details of the grief and shame that caused Bart's final retreat into his own misery and his eventual death. However, despite claiming repeatedly that Bart is the person that she loves best in the world, the siblings come across as close in Patricia's recollections and Bart remains a tortured enigma who eclipsed from his sister's life far too soon. The author spares no details, offering explicit details of her sex life, particularly that with her first husband. She also details the abuse she suffered in her first marriage, such as recounting a scene where she was trapped in the back of a cab while her husband continued to scream and hit her: "Throughout I was screaming at the cabdriver to stop the cab, but Jason ordered him to drive on. I kept sobbing and pleading with the driver to let me out. He refused. 'He's the boss, lady,' he told me, nodding at my husband" (90). Later, she describes in detail her decision to have an abortion, largely because she didn't want to marry or be with the father and so that she would be able to star in a movie alongside Audrey Hepburn. The random appearance of famous individuals peppered throughout this memoir gave it a surreal quality. The author casually references her father working with Bobby Kennedy and later describes meeting Nora Ephron. Although Bosworth comes across as a struggling actress just trying to support herself and her deadbeat husband, the star names she drops belie this image. For instance, Patricia accepts a ride home from an actors' party, only to find Marilyn Monroe in the seat beside her. Other encounters seem even more difficult to believe. For instance, when she finally flees her abusive husband and travels upstate to try to track down her therapist, she ends up crying out her story to a kind stranger, who just so happens to be making a documentary on Robert Frost. Patricia conveniently gets to meet and chat with the aging poet: "The great poet had soft white hair and a ruddy, heavily lined face. He was then seventy-eight years old and had won four Pulitzers for poetry that defined rural life in America" (95). Had this scene been in a novel I probably would have had a hard time believing it. Patricia's story is a coming of age tale during a pivotal time culturally. Despite her mother's urging that she marry and settle down, Patricia found a different path, one that was ultimately immensely successful. Although on the surface her life in the 1950s likely appeared glamorous and star-studded, her memoir reveals the inner turmoil and grief that marked those years and courageously and honestly examines this early period in her career.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Patti

    I had no idea who Patricia Boswell was when I picked up this book but I was drawn to the cover and the promise of reading about 1950s Manhattan. Initially, it was an engaging memoir, especially when Bosworth talked about her relationship with her brother and her marriage to Jason Bean. Thanks to be attractive, having plenty of money, and family connections Bosworth launched herself into modeling and acting and her stories along the way, of having fallen easily into the Actors Studio and meeting I had no idea who Patricia Boswell was when I picked up this book but I was drawn to the cover and the promise of reading about 1950s Manhattan. Initially, it was an engaging memoir, especially when Bosworth talked about her relationship with her brother and her marriage to Jason Bean. Thanks to be attractive, having plenty of money, and family connections Bosworth launched herself into modeling and acting and her stories along the way, of having fallen easily into the Actors Studio and meeting celebrities like Marilyn Monroe made for interesting stories but as the book progressed I started to feel like she was going out of her way to name drop. By the time she got to Nora Ephron, later in the book, it was just plan schmarmy because it, like many of the friendships she discussed, lacked substance. Other than Nora's father being an alcoholic which Bosworth "longed to ask her about" what the hell was the connection in this friendship? Her relationship with her abusive first husband, as young rebellious teen in college, was interesting and she wrote about it with the most passion. I got a real sense of who she was at the time and what she was going through and I could sympathize with the stupidity of an impulsive, rebellious teenager who is realizes too late she messed up and is too scared and too proud to admit it. Bosworth was implying that as she grew into herself she chose partners that were better for her. I thought her relationship with what her father called "an old geezer" Pepi was, well, gross. And she was never without the company of a man. She may not have been exclusive of "tied down" but she was never truly on her own either. By the time she develops her relationship with Mel her writing goes down the toilet. "It was the story of his Italian immigrant family in San Francisco of of a brother lost to him. I was moved because my brother was also lost and I reminded Mel of that (and her readers who already know damn well she lost her brother as it is a focal point of the book--duh!) Only then did he take me in his arms, his big strong body pulsing with energy as her covered me with passionate kisses." I'd expect that from a seventeen year old and not from a woman in her eighties who is supposedly a serious writer. Barf. As the book progresses one sees that her relationship with Mel is nearly as ridiculous as her relationships with many of her past lovers. Mel seems rather much like an arse, hounding her for the details of her sexual past which she does not wish to divulge nor does she feel comfortable telling him she once had an abortion. She remained a hot mess and didn't see it then and apparently doesn't see it now and for the reader it gets flat out tiresome! One could also do without her listing of platitudes from Mel. When confiding her relief that her father passed and she would no longer be struggling to save him and to be worried about him Mel "applauded" her and said "Yes, you will still grieve, but you can go on with your life." Maybe Mel write scripts but he doesn't come across as terribly profound in this book, but then again Bosworth's writing feels like she is trudging through a checklist, having wanted to stick a fork in this memoir long ago but she is forced to add more pages. One part of the book that stood out was her relationship with her brother and her "conversations" with him after he passed. They were by far the deepest part of the book. He was her conscience, her other voice which was a strong voice, a logical voice and although lacking the answers for his suicide, her conversations with him obviously told her what she already knew deep down. Her relationship with him and her parents give a great deal of insight into who she is. Overall, I enjoyed the book until I reached Part 4 when I got bored and Bosworth obviously did as well, as evidence by her cheesy, vacuous writing.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author writes from the heart, with vulnerability and intimacy. I was fascinated with the acting and writing culture of the 1950s and early 1960s the book portrays. It also made me think about the men in my life (although I think that part of the title is not the focus).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pam Mezaraups

    Patricia Bosworth has a very inclusive way of writing that let's you into the life of the characters (in this case being her) and is a wonderful storyteller with interesting acquaintances and friends. Loved revisiting that era in theatre and NYC...Also enjoyed her book Anything Your Heart Desires. She had a very interesting family ...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    This book was spectacular. It was a slow read for me, but definitely worth it! I felt like I really learned who Patricia Bosworth is...I became her friend and confidant. It read both as a memoir and as a diary, she let the reader see inside both her mind and her heart. And for that, I thank her.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marsmannix

    Fascinating look at the literati in the 50's.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marlies

    Only read half...not impressed

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    This book is an interesting reflection on the mores of the 1950s, seen through the eyes of one young woman. Patricia Bosworth was the daughter of a famous left-wing lawyer whose professional life pretty much went to pieces after McCarthy. Finding solace in drink, he was nevertheless convinced that his daughter and son were destined for great things. The son, Bart Jr, committed suicide at the age of 18 and it seems that his sister never got over it. So she went and married the first man she slept This book is an interesting reflection on the mores of the 1950s, seen through the eyes of one young woman. Patricia Bosworth was the daughter of a famous left-wing lawyer whose professional life pretty much went to pieces after McCarthy. Finding solace in drink, he was nevertheless convinced that his daughter and son were destined for great things. The son, Bart Jr, committed suicide at the age of 18 and it seems that his sister never got over it. So she went and married the first man she slept with (Catholic guilt), a disastrous marriage that forced her to split her life between her college education, her work as a model, and the squalor and disharmony of her husband's grandmother's flat. After a couple of false starts, she managed to leave that marriage and return to the parental nest. Having gotten her start in acting almost by fluke, she auditioned for the Actors' Studio and was accepted, to her own amazement. So there she was, hanging out with the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Steve McQueen. There were a couple of acting roles, including a small role in The Nun's Story with Audrey Hepburn, but eventually she got stuck as a perpetual understudy in a long-running play. Eventually she decided to make the switch to writing (she eventually became a biographer of show business personalities). So the book was an interesting slice-of-life of a particular subculture (the acting community) in New York in the 1950s. The most interesting part of the book, for me, was the unsentimental dissection of her first marriage to an unbelievably unpleasant wannabe artist. Why do women DO these things? The other aspect of the book that came through loud and clear was the author's attachment to her brother and her devastation when he committed suicide. It's tempting to speculate on the reasons for this tragedy - was he borderline autistic? Could he not handle his homosexual feelings for a classmate? Was it lingering guilt when that classmate committed suicide after being caught in a compromising position? Was it an unremitting depression? The author does not want to engage in easy diagnostic games and I respect that. What did get a bit irritating, were the imaginary dialogues that she kept conducting with her dead brother. Even from these fictional interchanges he sounded like a surly character, and I really didn't see the point. The one thing that keeps this book from being a 4 star memoir, is that it was never clear to me what the author wanted out of her life. Did she really want to be an actress? She mentions somewhere that she didn't really like performing. So the book left me a little unsatisfied - there were a lot of anecdotes involving famous people, but despite the honesty with regards to her first marriage, I felt that there was much that was left unexplored.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Langan

    Bosworth's memoir is fun reading, about a privileged coming of age in NYC. Her acting career brought her into contact with Gore Vidal, Elia Kazan, Audrey Hepburn, Nora Ephron, Lillian Helman, and Lee Strasberg at the Actor's Studio. Her dad was the lawyer for the Hollywood Ten, whose career was destroyed for it. Both she and her brother attended the best private schools (Deerfield, Miss Porter's, etc.), but his homosexuality precipitated a scandal and he killed himself while she married young an Bosworth's memoir is fun reading, about a privileged coming of age in NYC. Her acting career brought her into contact with Gore Vidal, Elia Kazan, Audrey Hepburn, Nora Ephron, Lillian Helman, and Lee Strasberg at the Actor's Studio. Her dad was the lawyer for the Hollywood Ten, whose career was destroyed for it. Both she and her brother attended the best private schools (Deerfield, Miss Porter's, etc.), but his homosexuality precipitated a scandal and he killed himself while she married young and unwisely, to an abusive lout. The writing is mediocre, but the story itself is pretty fascinating as a history of women in American culture. During a fight with her husband when she was probably still under twenty years old, he beat her in a taxi cab. The driver refused to stop and let her out, explaining to her that her husband was her boss. She was one of the woman, along with Steinam, who signed that document declaring she'd had an abortion for Ms. Magazine. This was botched. It was assumed women would be paid less and do more. It was assumed they'd be expected to sleep with their bosses. This wasn't so long ago. Another ten years of Trump and we'll be right back there.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    This was an interesting theatrical memoir of Patricia Bosworth’s early life, and the tragedy of her brother’s suicide, and her struggle to become an actress in New York. Accepted at the Actor’s Studio, she struggled to make a place for herself. Along the way she encountered many people, famous, about to be famous, and those who never made a place for themselves. It seems to take her a very long time to come to terms with herself, and to make sensible, self-interested choices in her life. Eventua This was an interesting theatrical memoir of Patricia Bosworth’s early life, and the tragedy of her brother’s suicide, and her struggle to become an actress in New York. Accepted at the Actor’s Studio, she struggled to make a place for herself. Along the way she encountered many people, famous, about to be famous, and those who never made a place for themselves. It seems to take her a very long time to come to terms with herself, and to make sensible, self-interested choices in her life. Eventually she made the decision to give up acting and make the transition to writing, which had intrigued her all her life. Lots of interesting stories and anecdotes about the famous and near-famous, but in a down-to-earth non-breathless style that is very entertaining. It’s sad that she succumbed to complications of Covid-19 in April of a 2020, before she could write about her life as a writer and journalist. Very enjoyable read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    Although I was intrigued by Ms. Bosworth's life and her tangential relationships with many important cultural and artistic influences, the book mostly fell flat for me. The content was overtly reflective, and I felt insulted as a reader that she felt she needed to spell out the meanings of metaphors and symbols so plainly. There was far too much of "but I didn't know it at the time..." and "it would take me many years before I would discover...." Patricia was very conscious of her emotions, but Although I was intrigued by Ms. Bosworth's life and her tangential relationships with many important cultural and artistic influences, the book mostly fell flat for me. The content was overtly reflective, and I felt insulted as a reader that she felt she needed to spell out the meanings of metaphors and symbols so plainly. There was far too much of "but I didn't know it at the time..." and "it would take me many years before I would discover...." Patricia was very conscious of her emotions, but described them in such sanitary and detached ways. The writing often felt apologetic, explanatory, and haunted by hindsight. Ultimately, I am glad to have read it, and I appreciated the unique perspective of the 1950s through the 79s, but there was much to be desired. I will say, though, that I have been inspired by Bosworth's optimism and perseverance through incredible tragedy after tragedy.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I am not familiar with the name Patricia Bosworth. Yet, I am always in the mood for reading memoirs. I enjoy reading them as they allow me to get to know people from all different walks of life. That is what Patricia did in this book. Patricia did transport me back to the fifties. I don't care who you are but it is sad when someone takes their own life. Yet, the more I read and got to become familiar with Patricia's family; I understood why her brother took his life. In fact, he was happier in d I am not familiar with the name Patricia Bosworth. Yet, I am always in the mood for reading memoirs. I enjoy reading them as they allow me to get to know people from all different walks of life. That is what Patricia did in this book. Patricia did transport me back to the fifties. I don't care who you are but it is sad when someone takes their own life. Yet, the more I read and got to become familiar with Patricia's family; I understood why her brother took his life. In fact, he was happier in death than in life. Despite; everything in this book and what I have previously commented on, I honestly couldn't connect with this book on a deep, emotional level. In fact, this was kind of an unmemorable book. While, this book did not work for me, it might work for someone else.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I love Patricia Bosworth’s writing! During this 2020 pandemic, when PW died, I discovered her writing after reading her obituary and have now read 4 of her 6 books and will probably finished them all before it’s over. She grew up in San Francisco but moved to New York as a teen and eventually joined the Actor’s Studio. Between her and her famous lawyer father who represented Rita Hayworth, they knew most everyone worth knowing in New York in the 50s and 60s. She also gave a glimpse into the pre I love Patricia Bosworth’s writing! During this 2020 pandemic, when PW died, I discovered her writing after reading her obituary and have now read 4 of her 6 books and will probably finished them all before it’s over. She grew up in San Francisco but moved to New York as a teen and eventually joined the Actor’s Studio. Between her and her famous lawyer father who represented Rita Hayworth, they knew most everyone worth knowing in New York in the 50s and 60s. She also gave a glimpse into the pre feminism, pre birth control and even Catholic group think of the era. Fascinating! She is good at breaking down complex issues into understandable components.A quote I noted “It’s only when you see the words on paper that you know what you’re thinking.”

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This is a juicy read about the author’s wild life as an actress in 1950s New York, with some very sober moments as both her beloved brother and her father died by suicide. I was a huge fan of Bosworth’s bio of Diane Arbus and bought this new book at a reading in New York City. Despite the title the author’s narcissistic mother makes several appearances. Favorite quote, Bosworth’s mother to her sloppily dressed daughter: “Oh God! Why do you insist on looking like a slob when you could be really b This is a juicy read about the author’s wild life as an actress in 1950s New York, with some very sober moments as both her beloved brother and her father died by suicide. I was a huge fan of Bosworth’s bio of Diane Arbus and bought this new book at a reading in New York City. Despite the title the author’s narcissistic mother makes several appearances. Favorite quote, Bosworth’s mother to her sloppily dressed daughter: “Oh God! Why do you insist on looking like a slob when you could be really beautiful? Hiding behind your dirty hair and freckles is an image of my own lost perfection!”

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Just Plain Good This type of memoir is outside my normal reading material but I’m glad i gave it a try. Bosworth writes compellingly of her family, in particular the death by suicide of her younger brother, and of the literary and theater scene of the late fifties and early sixties in New York. Much more than a name dropping , tell all, this book explores the author’s inner and external lives with insight and clarity. Highly recommended.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pansy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The men she refers to include her brother and father, both troubled characters who wind up committing suicide. Recommended for those who are interested in a slice of an actor’s life and first hand experience of the Actor’s Studio, misogynistic as it was (is?) Where this fell flat for me was her inability to get any perspective on the bad judgement she had with men. I also thought it disingenuous that she ends the book with a happy wedding but we have no idea where that relationship winds up.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sian Lile-Pastore

    The stories in this are so good - being in the back of a cab with Marilyn Monroe, the back of a motorcycle with Steve McQueen, tea with Audrey Hepburn...Etc etc and I enjoyed reading it. Didn't think the writing was anything special tho, but definitely a good one to read if you like 50s New York and celeb spotting.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Donna Jones

    I didn't know of Patricia (Patti) Bosworth until my twitter feed included several authors and other celebrities mentioning her death from coronavirus a few weeks ago. In her honor I bought The Men in My Life, her most recent memoir. She had an interesting life, and it was an enjoyable read. I'm going to look for her biographies of Montgomery Clift and Jane Fonda next.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Hilliard

    2.75 stars: Although Bosworth's story is mildly interesting and I really do enjoy 50s-era gossip, this book is surprisingly poorly edited and chock full of repetition. I think a bio pic would have better served to share this story.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Porter

    I didn't think I wanted to read it once I realized it was partially about her brother's suicide. I avoid dark books. However, once I started reading I couldn't stop. It was easy to read and well-written. Very good book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nora

    I saw Patricia Bosworth on “Table Talk” on PBS recently. She was on the show with Estelle Parsons who did almost all the talking. I was intrigued by Patricia Bosworth and I’m so happy that I could find her book. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pat Ojanen

    I heard her being interviewed by Alec Baldwin on his podcast. It was a replay of an interview he did after this book came out. She passed away from Covid-19 on April 2nd. It was a fascinating read that kept me interested from beginning to end.

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