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In previous biographies, William J. Mann has chronicled the lives of Elizabeth Taylor and Katherine Hepburn, two talented actresses whose riveting beauty seemed to ensure their fame. With Hello, Gorgeous, he turns his attention to Barbra Streisand, who has been described impolitely as an awkward ugly duckling who gate-crashed her way to fame. That image, which Barbra herself reinforced with her early choice of roles, conceals her multiple talents, her extraordinary drive, and her complexity. In this full-bodied (656-page) exploration of Streisand's early years, Mann describes the rise of the Brooklyn-born singer who began her career in "off-off-off Broadway" productions and small gay Greenwich Village nightclubs. A fascinating biography that tells us how Barbara became Barbra.