Then Again: A Memoir

Diane Keaton

Then Again: A Memoir

“Mom loved adages, quotes, slogans. There were always little reminders pasted on the kitchen wall. For example, the word THINK. I found THINK thumbtacked on a bulletin board in her darkroom. I saw it Scotch-taped on a pencil box she’d collaged. I even found a pamphlet titled THINK on her bedside table. Mom liked to THINK.” So begins Diane Keaton’s memoir about her mother and herself. In it you will meet the woman known to tens of millions as Annie Hall, but you will also meet, and fall in love with, her mother, the loving, complicated, always thinking Dorothy Hall. More than just the autobiography of a famous actress, Then Again is a book about a very American family with very American dreams. 3.4 out of 5 based on 11 reviews
Then Again: A Memoir

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Biography, Music, Stage & Screen
Format Hardback
Pages 300
RRP £18.99
Date of Publication November 2011
ISBN 978-0007417971
Publisher Fourth Estate
 

“Mom loved adages, quotes, slogans. There were always little reminders pasted on the kitchen wall. For example, the word THINK. I found THINK thumbtacked on a bulletin board in her darkroom. I saw it Scotch-taped on a pencil box she’d collaged. I even found a pamphlet titled THINK on her bedside table. Mom liked to THINK.” So begins Diane Keaton’s memoir about her mother and herself. In it you will meet the woman known to tens of millions as Annie Hall, but you will also meet, and fall in love with, her mother, the loving, complicated, always thinking Dorothy Hall. More than just the autobiography of a famous actress, Then Again is a book about a very American family with very American dreams.

Reviews

The Sunday Times

Antonia Quirke

Brilliant … She casts an unusually stern eye over herself (“most of my creative endeavours were nothing more than glorified basket-weaving”), always making herself the patsy. And she’s so consistently insightful … an exceptionally tender book.

20/11/2011

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The New Yorker

Hilton Als

Part of what makes Diane Keaton's memoir truly amazing is that she does away with the star's "me" and replaces it with a daughter's "I." … "Then Again" is deeply feminist in spirit, a poem about women living in one another's not uncomplicated memories.

05/12/2011

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The New York Times

Janet Maslin

… a far-reaching, heartbreaking, absolutely lucid book about mothers, daughters, childhood, aging, mortality, joyfulness, love, work and the search for self-knowledge. Show business too … Some of its stories are universal and painful, yet this book is not mired in melancholy. Instead it’s inspiring in its empathy, wisdom and self-knowledge.

17/11/2011

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The Sunday Telegraph

Frances Wilson

Rarely have I come across a less starry, more down-to-earth account of becoming a movie star … Those wanting Hollywood gossip, or looking for an account of dating Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Al Pacino, shouldn’t waste their money. Keaton is more of a fan than a star: “I was in love with Woody Allen before I knew him. He was Woody Allen.”

02/12/2011

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The Times

Sarah Vine

A very generous, charming, old-fashioned and strangely self-effacing account of a life lived in the spotlight. In essence, the book is one big act of generosity. Towards her siblings, her children, her former lovers; but most of all towards a lost parent. It’s as though Keaton, who has never had much use for notoriety, has finally found something useful to do with her fame: give her mother the recognition she feels that she deserved, but which was denied her in life.

19/11/2011

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The Economist

The Economist

Ms Keaton's anecdotes in "Then Again" about her life now, doing speaking tours and raising adopted children, are sweetly drawn domestic vignettes. She is a contented and, by almost any measure, successful woman. But overall "Then Again" does nothing to dispel the impression of Ms Keaton as an abandoned muse. Although Mr Allen's move to another lead actress is given only a sentence in the book—"Woody had met Mia Farrow and began a new alliance"—the number of pages devoted to him convey the sting of his rejection.

24/11/2011

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The Guardian

Catherine Shoard

There's something complicated going on here — admissions that feel more the stuff of a psychiatric suite than a celeb memoir … Then Again is a charming book — a testimony to kindheartedness. But it's also at times a troublingly raw reaction to recent bereavement.

14/12/2011

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The New Statesman

Talitha Stevenson

… Keaton's sense of humour serves as a fine alternative to a sense of prose style. Having portrayed a dazzling win at the Oscars, she quotes her sagacious grandmother, Grammy Hall: "That Woody Allen must be awfully broad-minded to think of all that crap he thinks of." This sense of humour preserves Then Again from moralising and elevates what could have been mere conclusions to the dizzy heights of the absurd.

05/12/2011

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The New York Times

Sheila Weller

… rich and ruminative, provocatively honest, jumbled and jittery and textured … I won’t pretend there are pages you won’t skip over — I, for one, didn’t care about Keaton’s siblings; I thought all the passages about her family (yes, including Mom) could have been reduced by a third. Sometimes I wanted to yell at this book: It’s you, Diane, not them I want to read about! I enjoyed the parts about her overripe present, conveyed in antic spurts: driving her daughter to her 4:45 a.m. swim practice (Starbucks doesn’t open till 5!), restoring a Lloyd Wright house, filming “Morning Glory,” singing a Katy Perry song in the car with her son, feeling vulnerable as she ponders the deaths of Elizabeth Edwards and Natasha Richardson. The actress who’s always been best when underestimated has built herself a soulful, unselfish maturity. A tip of the chapeau to her.

02/12/2011

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The Observer

Philip French

Rambling, endearing ... The book contains few startling revelations or anecdotes about her films, and there's more in its latter part on her parents than on her work … There are, however, a couple of interesting references to Unstrung Heroes, a curious independent movie Diane directed in the 1990s, and to Something's Gotta Give (2003), probably the only movie of interest she's made since Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), her eighth and last collaboration with Allen.

20/11/2011

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The Washington Post

Joanna Scutts

There’s barely a flicker of scandal: Pacino, Woody Allen and Warren Beatty are all recalled briefly and more or less fondly, with few surprises — though Allen’s fans might care to know that he “had a great body.” The book’s main shock is Keaton’s revelation of her all-consuming bulimia during her early acting career.

02/12/2011

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