Born with Teeth
Raised by unconventional Irish Catholics who knew "how to drink, how to dance, how to talk, and how to stir up the devil," Kate Mulgrew grew up with poetry and drama in her bones. But in her mother, a would-be artist burdened by the endless arrival of new babies, young Kate saw the consequences of a dream deferred.
Determined to pursue her own no matter the cost, at 18 she left her small Midwestern town for New York, where, studying with the legendary Stella Adler, she learned the lesson that would define her as an actress: "Use it," Adler told her. Whatever disappointment, pain, or anger life throws in your path, channel it into the work.
It was a lesson she would need. At twenty-two, just as her career was taking off, she became pregnant and gave birth to a daughter. Having already signed the adoption papers, she was allowed only a fleeting glimpse of her child. As her star continued to rise, her life became increasingly demanding and fulfilling, a whirlwind of passionate love affairs, life-saving friendships, and bone-crunching work. Through it all, Mulgrew remained haunted by the loss of her daughter, until, two decades later, she found the courage to face the past and step into the most challenging role of her life, both on and off screen.
We know Kate Mulgrew for the strong women she's played -- Captain Janeway on Star Trek ; the tough-as-nails "Red" on Orange is the New Black. Now, we meet the most inspiring and memorable character of all: herself. By turns irreverent and soulful, laugh-out-loud funny and heart-piercingly sad, Born with Teeth is the breathtaking memoir of a woman who dares to live life to the fullest, on her own terms.
In Mulgrew's assured gem of a memoir, fans of the actress (Star Trek: Voyager, Orange is the New Black) will delight in discovering her writing chops are as accomplished as her award-winning acting. Growing up, she lived in Derby Grange, a massive 1850s house in Dubuque, Iowa, where Mulgrew and her seven siblings enjoyed magical childhoods. Her eccentric artist mother, whose best friend was Jean Kennedy Smith, sent the budding actress to New York at 18, where she studied with the legendary Stella Adler. Mulgrew's career took off quickly when she landed the lead in the soap Ryan's Hope in 1975. Her unplanned pregnancy during that time was written into the script, although only a handful knew the baby girl was placed for adoption at birth. The events devastated Mulgrew, as did the early deaths of two beloved siblings and a rape she survived near her Manhattan apartment. But she kept moving forward, powerfully devoted to her life through broken romantic relationships, the joy of getting the lucrative starring role in Star Trek: Voyager, and finding her daughter at last in 2007. Mulgrew's mother was her muse and true confidante, until the first signs of Alzheimer's appeared. Readers will savor Mulgrew's gift for erudite, honest writing and want to read more about her mesmerizing life.
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Ignore the first reviewer's shallow commentary, and give this book a try. A thoughtful memoir of a dynamic actress, this book was quite enjoyable. If I have a criticism, it was only that in parts Ms. Mulgrew seems to skate over details (more, please!) but this is a minor quibble.
What a wonderful journey into the authors world.
Not for me
Lost me at giving up a child up for adoption.
Memoir of a selfish person...