'For more than twenty years, Katharine Hepburn imparted many of the details of her life to me suggesting that I weave them into a book - one that would appear upon her death. Sad to say, the time has come to publish that book. But I find comfort in knowing she lived a very rich 96 years; and I have tried my best to honour her wish of making the book as true to her spirit as possible - as inspiring, as loving and as fun.' Scott Berg KATE REMEMBERED is a loving tribute and a tender farewell that reveals an unusual relationship in a unique life, one fully lived - and largely according to Katharine Hepburn's own rules. More importantly, it sets down many of the stories of that life as she saw them, full of sentiments she felt should not be made public until after her death. Ultimately, this book is not only a story of the poignant final twenty years in which Scott Berg knew Katharine Hepburn, but also a tale of a great theatrical personality and the better part of the century that was the stage for her distinguished life.
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Published a mere 13 days after the death of Katharine Hepburn, Kate Remembered is best appreciated as a billet-doux of devoted friendship. It's a moving study of mutual trust and admiration between Pulitzer-Prize-winning biographer A Scott Berg and legendary Hollywood icon Hepburn, who'd established an instant rapport in 1983, beginning a 20-year conversation that blossomed into this enchanting "biographical memoir".
As a casual but authoritative survey of Hepburn's career, Berg's book offers little new information to anyone who's read previous Hepburn biographies or Me: Stories of My Life, Hepburn's bestselling 1991 memoir. But the duality of Berg's title reinforces his purpose: "More than my remembrances," writes Berg in his author's note, "this book intends to convey hers." As such, Kate Remembered offers a rare, unvarnished portrait of one of the 20th century's most influential women, achieving a personal intimacy while making the reader feel welcomed in Hepburn's private world of privilege.
Although Berg (the acclaimed biographer of legendary editor Max Perkins, producer/mogul Samuel Goldwyn and aviator Charles Lindbergh) had written all but the final paragraphs by 2001, Hepburn insisted this book remain unpublished until after her death, which came, in quiet dignity at age 96, on June 29, 2003. Given the book's prepublication secrecy, it's hardly tabloid-worthy, serving instead to correct or clarify details from Hepburn's glory days--especially her long-term affair with Spencer Tracy--while offering choice bits of Hollywood gossip, Hepburn's frequently scathing assessments of other actors and amusing encounters with such luminaries as Michael Jackson and Warren Beatty (both of whom appear as mock suitors with selfish motivations). It's a brisk read but a substantial one, richly emotional and as dignified as Hepburn herself, whose faults and foibles make her even more appealing than her beloved public persona. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.comReview:
'Berg ... is an astute and subtle observer. The result is a memoir with never a dull page' -- Daily Telegraph
'Engaging ... this book adds to what has been written about her and what she herself has chosen to write' -- Philip French, Observer
'Kate Remembered is a worthy testament of Scott Berg's love for his elderly, captivating, solicitous friend' -- Sunday Times
'This book undoubtedly increases your affection for this marvellous actress ... it is full of entertaining bitchiness as well as tenderness' -- Sunday Telegraph
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