Anjelica Huston details her childhood, working with father John Huston
Angelica Huston's memoir has received mainly positive reviews and is the first of a planned two-part work.
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The first part of what will be a two-volume biography, according to USA Today, was released on Nov. 19, and details Huston's childhood and young adult life working as a model.
Huston is an Oscar-winning actress (for the 1985 film “Prizzi’s Honor”) and appeared in the films “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” and the “Addams Family” movies as well as, more recently, “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “50/50,” and the NBC series “Smash.”
Huston told USA Today she started writing her memoir with a ghostwriter but decided to go on by herself soon after.
“It became evident to me that if I was going to embark on this idea that I should do it myself,” she said. “Because really I don't think anyone can replicate your way of thinking.”
Huston’s memoir describes what it was like to work with her director father John Huston on the movie “A Walk With Love And Death.” Huston told NPR interviewer Terry Gross that the experience was not a good one.
“It seemed to me that he didn't want me to be who I was," she said. “And that was very difficult.... I felt at that time that he didn't like me, he didn't like who I was, he didn't like the way I dressed, the way I looked. He was very critical of all of that.”
However, she later worked with him on “Prizzi's Honor,” and gained a new perspective, she said. “I thought it was all about me, [that] he had it in for me” while working on “Walk,” she said. But later, working on "Prizzi's Honor," she said that she saw her father "get tough on other people too and although that doesn't really diminish the effect that it has on one when one's talent or one's behavior is called into question, at the same time there was something vaguely comforting about knowing that I wasn't the only one to suffer criticism.”
As for the second volume, Huston told USA Today there will be “ample Jack,” referring to her relationship with actor Jack Nicholson.
The memoir received a negative notice from Kirkus Reviews. The reviewer for Kirkus says the book "sags" as it goes on and that "a phone book of names assails readers, challenging both memory and interest.... Banality clutches the book tightly."
But most other reviewers disagreed. Publishers Weekly says Huston “achieves some moments of ringing clarity” and called her memoir a “brave account,” while Entertainment Weekly writer Melissa Maerz awarded the book an A- and calling it “fascinating.”
“Her lovely, novelistic writing carries the book,” Maerz writes.