Author Event: Jamie Bernstein, "Famous Father Girl"

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Darien Library and Barrett Bookstore welcome Jamie Bernstein, author of Famous Father Girl: a Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein.

In this intimate and evocative memoir, the oldest daughter of revered composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein offers a rare look at her father, that was published the centennial year of his birth. Bernstein was the composer of "On the Town" and "West Side Story," chief conductor of the New York Philharmonic, a television star, a humanitarian, a friend of the powerful and influential, and the life of every party, Leonard Bernstein was an enormous celebrity during one of the headiest periods of American cultural life, as well as the most protean musician in twentieth-century America.

But to his eldest daughter, Jamie, he was above all the man in the scratchy brown bathrobe who smelled of cigarettes; the jokester and compulsive teacher who enthused about Beethoven and the Beatles; the insomniac whose 4 a.m. composing breaks involved spooning baby food out of the jar. He taught his daughter to love the world in all its beauty and complexity. In public and private, Lenny was larger than life.

In Famous Father Girl, Bernstein mines the emotional depths of her childhood and invites us into her family’s private world. A fantastic set of characters populates the Bernsteins’ lives, including the Kennedys, Mike Nichols, John Lennon, Richard Avedon, Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Robbins, and Betty (Lauren) Bacall.

Meet the author, and discover the connection between her 2018 memoir and the recently released film, Maestro, starring Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan, which chronicles the lifelong relationship of conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein and actress Felicia Montealegre Bernstein.

About the Author

Jamie Bernstein is a writer, broadcaster, and filmmaker. She travels the world as a concert narrator. Her documentary, Crescendo: The Power of Music, is available on Netflix. She lives in New York City.


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