It’s nearly impossible to succinctly describe Barbra Streisand. Yes, she’s a Jewish actress, but she’s also a triple threat, the original “Funny Girl,” an EGOT winner, a director, a Brooklynite, and one of the best selling recording artists of all time. But now, she’s finally claiming the one title that has eluded her: memoirist.
On November 7, 2023, Barbra’s long-awaited autobiography, “My Name Is Barbra” — the title as given to her 1965 album and TV special — will hit bookshelves.
Cue our kvelling!!
Per Penguin Random House, “In ‘My Name Is Barbra,’ she tells her own story about her life and extraordinary career, from growing up in Brooklyn to her first star-making appearances in New York nightclubs to her breakout performance in ‘Funny Girl’ (musical and film) to the long string of successes in every medium in the years that followed.”
The synopsis goes on, “The book is, like Barbra herself, frank, funny, opinionated, and charming. She recounts her early struggles to become an actress, eventually turning to singing to earn a living; the recording of some of her acclaimed albums; the years of effort involved in making ‘Yentl;’ her direction of ‘The Prince of Tides;’ her friendships with figures ranging from Marlon Brando to Madeleine Albright; her political advocacy; and the fulfillment she’s found in her marriage to James Brolin.”
Though Barbra has previously authored a book in 2010 about her passion for design (just look at that cover), the road to her memoir has been much more complicated. In 1984, former First Lady and then editor at Doubleday Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis told Barbra that she’d like to edit her memoir. Barbra wasn’t ready to write a book at the time, but she did start writing in journals. In a 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, she stated that for periods in 1999 and 2008 she “really started writing” for her memoir, however, she was still too busy to finish it. In 2015, Viking Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, bought Babs’ book and announced that it would be published in 2017. Yet, it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that she was able to complete the project. (At the time Barbra spoke with Jimmy Fallon, she had written 824 pages!) And now, the 1,040 page tome will be out just in time for Hanukkah 2023.
To that we say: Baruch Hashem!
You can preorder your copy here.