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Review: Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep by Michael Schulman

Whether you are a fan, it is undeniable that Meryl Streep is one of the best actresses alive. Her dedication to her craft and willingness to take risks are extraordinary. In 2014, it was reported that in the past 12 years, she was thanked more times than God at the Academy Awards. And in 2017, she broke her own Oscar nominations record.

Currently, she has three Oscar wins and 21 nominations.  There is clearly something talent about the New Jersey native. Besides being an uber talent multi-talented actress, Meryl lives a relatively quiet life.

Her Again: Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep explores the life of the actress before famous and also shines a light on who Meryl is when she is not winning multiple awards. Instead of the standard chapter number titles, the book is broken down into the roles that Meryl had to play. It begins with Mary, Meryl’s first name.

In this portion, Meryl is a normal teenager, who is trying to survive high school and dealing with typical teen issues- boys, homecoming. The book ends with Joanna. The name of the character that she played in Kramer vs. Kramer, and the character she ended up winning her first Academy Award for.

I have very little critiques with Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep. It was an enjoyable read and kept me entertained. The author provides a contextual view of how she became who she is. The book is not just ridden with quotes from Meryl. In addition to the quotes, the author dives deeper and paints a picture of the environment in which she was in, social circumstances, and also the culture.

After reading, I’ve developed a great appreciation for the actress. I’ve learned several times about the actress that I had not known. For example, that her and Sigourney Weaver were friends in college.  

Although the book does a good job of explaining Meryl’s backstory, there are a few gaps. For example, her marriage to Don Gummer six months after he boyfriend passed from lung cancer. The author does touch on how Meryl and Don met, but he doesn’t touch on the whys. Another issue I’d noticed, is that the book spent a little too much time on other individuals in Meryl’s life. For example, the book made a point to provide a detailed summary about her professional in college. Although, they were prominent in Meryl’s life, their backstory should have been compressed and more time should have been spent on Meryl.

Final Analysis

Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep provides an insight look at one of the most talented actresses alive. Although not perfect, it is a biography that does a fairly decent job at capturing Meryl Streep.

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