‘Brother & Sister’ by Diane Keaton
WHO: Diane Keaton
WHAT: BROTHER & SISTER,
WHEN: Published by Knopf February 4, 2020
WHERE: The author lives in Los Angeles.
WHY: “A disarmingly honest and vulnerable account of an all-too-common family dynamic.
“In her best-selling memoir, Then Again, Diane Keaton portrayed her mother. What is palpable in this searing memoir of her relationship with Randy, her alcoholic, mentally skewed brother, is the sense of missed opportunity.
“For a brief period during their seemingly idyllic childhood in 1950s Southern California, they were a team, safe in a cocooned shared bedroom, basking in an insulated duet. But the good times didn’t last. More children came, and their father achieved financial and professional success and moved the family deeper into suburbia and a lifestyle that clashed with Randy’s heightened sensibilities. Keaton’s acting career soared, removing her geographically but also emotionally from Randy’s increased isolation, anger, frustration, and rage: emotions he assuaged through poetry, art, and alcohol.
“The keeper of her family’s ephemera, including journals, photographs, poems, and collages, here Keaton assembles the mosaic of a supremely troubled life. In doing so, she addresses the remorse that comes from viewing broken relationships from a distance, knowing that there is no glue with which to repair them.”
—Carol Haggas, BOOKLIST
“Immersive and haunting.
“In an effort to seek understanding of her brother’s struggles, Keaton eloquently and unflinchingly examines his life, drawing from excerpts of his poetry and her mother’s journals and letters in an attempt to find answers to her questions.”
—Carol Binkowski, LIBRARY JOURNAL
“This slim but weighty book stands as a haunting meditation on mortality, sibling love, mental illness, and regret.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
. . . . .
FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK:
The simple, sturdy, and reliable Brownie Hawkeye camera manufactured by Kodak documented our family from 1949 through 1956. Mom and Dad learned how to look into its viewfinder while selecting the right pose by pushing the button with a click. The result? Hundreds of white-framed four-inch-square pictures including my six-year-old brother Randy and eight-year-old me standing next to a clown at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Another shot, a year later, features all four Hall kids in the Halloween costumes Mom made. I was a Gypsy. Randy was a clown. Robin was a princess, and little Dorrie was a bunny rabbit. And there’s the photograph our neighbor Ike must have taken, featuring the entire Hall family gathered on the front porch dressed in Easter Sunday outfits. Ever-ready smiles in the black-framed photographs solidified our place in history, just as the ubiquitous advertising promised. We were the stars of our very own Kodak Moments. All through these many years, Randy’s smile remained a carbon copy of those that preceded it: deceptive and faraway.
About the book and author | Author tour | Download the jacket | Download the author photo (by Jesse Stone) | Download Diane Keaton’s school portrait | Download Randy Hall’s school portrait
Knopf. With 16 pages of photos.
157 pages. $25.95 ISBN 978-0-451-49450-4
To interview the author, contact: Erinn Hartman | 212-572-2345 | email@example.com