* Advertising campaign on film pages of THE TIMES and THE GUARDIAN Guide* Author media interviews* Review coverage* Mailing to the Judy Garland fan club
Gerald Clarke is the author of CAPOTE, the much acclaimed bestselling biography of Truman Capote. He has also written for many magazines, including ESQUIRE and TIME, where for many years he was a senior writer.
Yet another biography of Judy Garland? Yes, but this one by Clarke, author of the acclaimed Capote, could possibly stand as the definitive work on the troubled actress/singer. It was ten years in the making and was extensively researched; Clarke even had access to Garland's unpublished autobiography. Garland, n‚e Frances "Babe" Gumm, was born into a show business family, which boded well for her own career. However, according to Clarke, her father was a closet homosexual who liked young boys, her mother took lovers, and neither spent much time together. This perhaps was a harbinger of the personal difficulties Garland would encounter. Clarke's meticulous research offers some revelations. He asserts that Garland's mother, not the much-maligned MGM studio executives, started Garland on the pill roller coaster that would be her downfall. This is a necessary purchase, even for libraries already holding books on Garland, as there is sure to be demand; Clarke has a big publicity tour planned. Highly recommended for all libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/00.]--Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Bay Area Cooperative Lib. Syst., CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
'[A] masterful biography.' SUNDAY TIMES 'A Hollywood biography in the classic mould...[it is the] deep insecurity allied with greatness that Clarke explores so well. This is a sympathetic biography in that it seeks explanations, although Clarke properly makes no attempt to gloss over the Garland excesses.' GLASGOW HERALD 'This biography carries us through Garland's show-stopping highs and pill-popping lows in high style, showing her considerable wit and glamour as well as the misery of a young performer manipulated by the studio...Clarke's biography whips smoothly through the years with minimal hyperbole and his subject emerges triumphant.' OBSERVER 'There have been plenty of books on Judy, but Clarke is the only writer to have access to her 68 manuscript pages of her unfinished biography. Drawing on a remarkable number of sources, he has produced the definitive life.' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'I am not generally a huge fan of biographies as they tend to drive me crazy with their desire to shock and reveal or-worse- do a gloss job on some star's life. But GET HAPPY does neither...written in a detailed, direct and honest way, giving no real opinion but telling her story.' SUNDAY HERALD, Books of the Year 'A clear, documentary style and the simple appraoch of a start, middle and end makes this book quite a new wheel rather than the reinvention of an old one.' IRISH TIMES 'With the same empathy he brought to his extroardinary biography of Truman Capote, he gives a warmly witty account of another mismanaged genius that leaves on hungry to revisit her legacy of films and recordings.' MAIL ON SUNDAY 'An interesting vignette of life behind the Hollywood scenes.' GAY TIMES
Judy Garland's on-screen longing for a land where "sorrows melt like lemon drops away above the chimney tops" was answered with a life plagued by emotional agony, dependency on drugs and alcohol, exploitative relationships, suicide attempts and physical violence. This exhaustively researched and illuminating biography by Clarke, whose bestselling 1988 life of Truman Capote won critical praise, is as compassionate as it is wrenching. It follows the basic themes established by the best of the more than 20 biographies and memoirs of Garland that have appeared since her 1969 death (in particular, Gerald Frank's 1975 bio, authorized by her family). But while most portray Garland as tormented by inexorable and sometimes inexplicable inner demons, Clarke brings to his work a far harsher evaluation of how the singer was treated by her employers, family and lovers: her mother gave her amphetamines at the age of four; producers at MGM sexually harassed her as a young teen; husband Vincente Minnelli cheated on her with men soon after their marriage; husband Sid Luft stole millions from her; fourth husband Mark Herron had an affair with Garland's son-in-law, Peter Allen (then married to Liza Minnelli). Many of Clarke's revelations are of a sexual nature--he mentions affairs with Sinatra, Glenn Ford, Yul Brynner and Tyrone Power as well as with women. Other revelations, such as of Garland attacking her young son, Joey, with a butcher's knife, are simply shocking. Yet Clarke never exploits this volatile material as cheap gossip; instead, he deftly weaves it into a detailed, respectful and haunting portrait. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.