Ali in Wonderland: And Other Tall Tales

Ali in Wonderland: And Other Tall Tales

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by Ali Wentworth
     
 

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Growing up in a family of political journalists—and daughter of President Reagan’s White House social secretary—Ali Wentworth rebelled against her blue-blood upbringing, embracing Hollywood, motorcycles, even a few wildly inappropriate marriage proposals. Today she is an acclaimed comedic actress and writer, former Oprah regular, wife of

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Overview

Growing up in a family of political journalists—and daughter of President Reagan’s White House social secretary—Ali Wentworth rebelled against her blue-blood upbringing, embracing Hollywood, motorcycles, even a few wildly inappropriate marriage proposals. Today she is an acclaimed comedic actress and writer, former Oprah regular, wife of political and media star George Stephanopoulos, and a mother who lets her two girls eat cotton candy before bed. Though she’s settled down, her rebellious nature thrives in her comedy and her view of her crazy world.

In this addictively funny and warm memoir, she takes us through the looking glass and into the wonderland of her life, from a childhood among Washington’s elite to a stint in the psych ward they called a New England prep school; days doing L.A. sketch comedy (with then-aspiring artists Will Ferrell and Lisa Kudrow) to a series of spectacularly failed loves (that eventually led her to Mr. Right). Constant throughout is her mother, Muffie—a flawlessly elegant yet firm, no-nonsense force of nature and pure WASP convictions.

As charming and off-the-wall as Ali herself, Ali in Wonderland is an entertaining look at life that is both intimate and hilarious.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Depending on whom you ask, Wentworth (The WASP Cookbook) is best known for roles on TV’s In Living Color and Head Case, her appearances on Oprah, or her 2001 marriage to George Stephanopoulous. The busy author’s fun, adventure-filled memoir is rife with colorful turns of phrase (for example, “I felt like a Chihuahua after the neighborhood bully lit the firecracker in its ass”) and humorous tales of her privileged upbringing, various suitors, and trips abroad. The author’s mother, Muffie—who worked as Nancy Reagan’s social secretary—looms large, often as the example against which a young Ali rebelled. Wentworth is amusing and frank, often frenetic, with sharp intelligence underneath the sassy wackiness; passages about her struggle with depression, falling in love with her husband, and her daughter’s baptism have funny moments, but they’re thoughtful and touching, too. Dishy tidbits about famous folk, from Henry Kissinger to Cher, round out this highly entertaining memoir. (Feb.)
Marie Claire
“Hilarious.”
Book
“[A] lively, laugh-out-loud memoir....Fans of Amy Sedaris and Merrill Markoe will enjoy Wentworth’s warped Weltanschauung and wicket wit.”
Vanity Fair
“Ali Wentworth tumbles comically through Ali in Wonderland.”
Food & Wine
“[H]ilarious...”
New York Post
“A breezily amusing memoir...”
Chelsea Handler
“Ali has written a truly hilarious book . . . and she’s also a good kisser!”
Readers' Prize Elle
“Unanimous applause greeted this actress-comedian’s tour of her fabulous life…all recounted in a manner that had one reader wondering if Wentworth is ‘a long-lost sister of the Sedaris clan.’”
Jerry Seinfeld
“Everything that comes out of Ali Wentworth’s mouth is funny!”
Kathy Griffin
“Ali Wentworth’s book is like Chicken Soup for the Vagina. Gays and straight men, I’m not leaving you out here! Ali is truly one of the quickest, funniest girls I’ve ever met. Enjoy!”
Alec Baldwin
“Ali Wentworth is funny and warm and crazy all at once. Like Barbara Eden. But on something. Like crystal meth.”
Muffie Cabot (Ali's mother)
“I would tone down the pee and fart references.”
Readers' Prize - Elle
"Unanimous applause greeted this actress-comedian’s tour of her fabulous life…all recounted in a manner that had one reader wondering if Wentworth is ‘a long-lost sister of the Sedaris clan.’"
Gwyneth Paltrow
“One of the most hilarious reads I’ve enjoyed in a long time.”
Julie Hinds
“With candor and humor, [Wentworth] writes about her life, her marriage and growing up in the elite world of her illustrious mother…”
Readers' Prize February 2012 Elle
“Unanimous applause greeted this actress-comedian’s tour of her fabulous life…all recounted in a manner that had one reader wondering if Wentworth is ‘a long-lost sister of the Sedaris clan.’”
Kirkus Reviews
Comedienne Wentworth revisits her privileged and precocious early years. In this satirical dissection of class and privilege, the author, daughter of President Ronald Reagan's social secretary Muffie Cabot, mines a childhood spent among America's elite. By the time she landed a role on the sketch show In Living Color, Wentworth had already put on vaudevillian after-dinner performances for Henry Kissinger. As a socialite in training, she keyed into a number of important life lessons--e.g., "There's a fine line between WASP victuals and white-trash cuisine." Wentworth's glib take on America's social hierarchy might initially seem like a blue blood's guide to slumming it, but her savvy understanding of what she's been given versus what she's earned makes for a sharp critique of class and power. She probes her marriage to former political operative and current TV newsman George Stephanopoulos for insights about pregnancy, child-rearing and compromise. Her understated prose and deadpan humor go a long way toward making this account of life among the one-percenters easy to swallow. If readers aren't taken with her charm, they'd be well advised to follow her mother's catch-all advice: "Just go to the Four Seasons." Nothing's better than blocking out the world behind silk curtains, sinking into crisp linen sheets and ringing for tea and crumpets. Wentworth would likely suggest the same remedy to readers who aren't immediately enamored with her collection of vignettes. She'd be winking slyly as she did, though. A smart, often-funny memoir.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062098092
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/07/2012
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
27,880
File size:
673 KB

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What People are saying about this

Alec Baldwin

“Ali Wentworth is funny and warm and crazy all at once. Like Barbara Eden. But on something. Like crystal meth.”

Julie Hinds

“With candor and humor, [Wentworth] writes about her life, her marriage and growing up in the elite world of her illustrious mother…”

Jerry Seinfeld

“Everything that comes out of Ali Wentworth’s mouth is funny!”

Gwyneth Paltrow

“One of the most hilarious reads I’ve enjoyed in a long time.”

Chelsea Handler

“Ali has written a truly hilarious book . . . and she’s also a good kisser!”

Muffie Cabot (Ali's mother)

“I would tone down the pee and fart references.”

Kathy Griffin

“Ali Wentworth’s book is like Chicken Soup for the Vagina. Gays and straight men, I’m not leaving you out here! Ali is truly one of the quickest, funniest girls I’ve ever met. Enjoy!”

Meet the Author

Ali Wentworth is the author of the New York Times bestseller Ali in Wonderland. She made a name for herself on the comedy show In Living Color and has appeared on such television shows as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Seinfeld, Head Case, and The Oprah Winfrey Show, for which she was a correspondent. Her film credits include Jerry Maguire, The Real Blonde, Office Space, and It’s Complicated. A native of Washington, D.C., she lives in New York City with her husband, George Stephanopoulos, and their two girls.

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