Becoming Mae West

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Da Capo Press, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 472 pages
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Emily Worth Leider combines newly uncovered archival material, fine writing, and a rich appreciation of West's unique blend of comedy and "come-hither" appeal to shape this enormously engrossing biography and portrait of an era. She gives us not just Mae West the bawdy icon, but also the driven performer who honed her act on the vaudeville circuit, wrote her own material to get a decent part, and never stopped battling the censor—the very people who provided some of her best publicity but who eventually struck a blow for prudery from which her career would never recover.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A wide-ranging biography and social history examining the years in which Mae West the woman became Mae West the theater and movie star and cultural icon. It's a mark of how definitive a character Mae ... Read full review

Becoming Mae West

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Leider (California's Daughter: Gertrude Atherton & Her Times, LJ 11/15/90) traces West's development from child performer to coltish shimmy dancer to the drawling, wise-cracking persona recognized ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Emily Worth Leider, a former editor and reviewer for many publications, including the San Francisco Review of Books , is the author of California's Daughter: Gertrude Atherton and Her Times. She lives in northern California.

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