Queen Meryl

Queen Meryl

by Erin Carlson

Overview: Meryl Streep is the most celebrated actress of our time. She's a chameleon who disappears fully into each character she plays. She never tackles the same role twice. Instead, she leverages her rarified platform to channel a range of dynamic, complicated women—Joanna Kramer, Karen Silkwood, Julia Child, Margaret Thatcher, Katharine Graham—rather than limit herself to marginal roles for which other actresses must settle: Supportive Wife. Supportive Mother. Supportive Yet Utterly Disposable Love Interest. Streep will have none of that.

The once-awkward, frizzy-haired suburban teen blossomed into a rising ingénue on the stage at Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama. She came of age during the women's movement of the '60s and '70s, and has worn her activism on her sleeve even when it was unfashionable. When she reached 40, the age when many leading ladies fade away, Streep plunged forward, taking her pick of parts that interested her and winning a pile of awards along the way. Meanwhile, she remained an unlikely box-office draw, her clout even managing to grow with age: The Devil Wears Prada, starring Streep as the Anna Wintour avatar Miranda Priestly, scored $326 million worldwide.

Journalist and author Erin Carlson documents all of Streep's Oscars, accents, causes, memes, friendships, and feuds; also exploring the "off-brand" forays into action-adventure ( The River Wild) and musicals ( Mamma Mia!), and how Streep managed to sneak her feminism into each character. In the spirit of nontraditional bestsellers like Notorious RBG and The Tao of Bill Murray, Queen Meryl is illustrated by artist Justin Teodoro and filled with fascinating lists and sidebars, delivering joy in homage to its unique and brilliant subject.

Carole Zwicker (11/02/19): Queen Meryl by Erin Carlson, as you have guessed , is a biography of actor Meryl Streep. The author is known for her entertainment reporting and the book does read like a journal of Streep’s film career, one film at a time. The writing style is refreshing: while informing the reader about each film, the author describes what is happening in the actor’s life at that period in time. Because Streep’s body of work is so extensive, there are plenty of opportunities to glimpse her personal life throughout. Wife, mother, activist, actor, she devotes herself to all. She has been nominated for dozens of awards and has portrayed numerous famous women by meticulously studying her subjects. She has adopted any number of accents convincingly. Her activism has been fearless.: she speaks freely without fear of repercussion even from the likes of a certain president and others. Queen Meryl will appeal to movie buffs and biography enthusiasts alike.
Rating: *****

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