Bits and Pieces: My Mother, My Brother, and Me

Bits and Pieces: My Mother, My Brother, and Me

by Whoopi Goldberg

Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg

Unabridged — 6 hours, 43 minutes

Bits and Pieces: My Mother, My Brother, and Me

Bits and Pieces: My Mother, My Brother, and Me

by Whoopi Goldberg

Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg

Unabridged — 6 hours, 43 minutes

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Overview

An instant New York Times and USA Today bestseller!

From multi-award winner Whoopi Goldberg comes a new and unique memoir of her family and their influence on her early life.

If it weren't for Emma Johnson, Caryn Johnson would have never become Whoopi Goldberg. Emma gave her children the loving care and wisdom they needed to succeed in life, always encouraging them to be true to themselves. When Whoopi lost her mother in 2010-and then her older brother, Clyde, five years later-she felt deeply alone; the only people who truly knew her were gone.

Emma raised her children not just to survive, but to thrive. In this intimate and heartfelt memoir, Whoopi shares many of the deeply personal stories of their lives together for the first time. Growing up in the projects in New York City, there were trips to Coney Island, the Ice Capades, and museums, and every Christmas was a magical experience. To this day, she doesn't know how her mother was able to give them such an enriching childhood, despite the struggles they faced-and it wasn't until she was well into adulthood that Whoopi learned just how traumatic some of those struggles were.

Fans of personal memoirs such as Finding Me by Viola Davis and In Pieces by Sally Field will be touched by Bits and Pieces: a moving tribute from a daughter to her mother, and a beautiful portrait of three people who loved each other deeply. Whoopi writes, “Not everybody gets to walk this earth with folks who let you be exactly who you are and who give you the confidence to become exactly who you want to be. So, I thought I'd share mine with you.”


Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

03/11/2024

Actor Goldberg (Two Old Broads) reflects in this tender chronicle on the deaths of her two closest family members. Goldberg grew up in New York City’s Chelsea projects with her mother, Emma, and brother, Clyde, while Emma worked tirelessly as a practical nurse and a schoolteacher to support her children. Even as Goldberg hits the requisite celeb memoir career beats—including sections on her one-woman Broadway show, her breakthrough film role in 1985’s The Color Purple, and her supporting actress Oscar for Ghost—she keeps the focus on Emma, whose thriftiness and lust for life filled the author’s childhood with happy memories of trips to Coney Island and Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes. Goldberg contrasts these reveries with the overwhelming grief she felt when Emma died, in 2010, from a stroke. Five years later, Clyde succumbed to a ruptured brain aneurysm, leaving Goldberg to face the world without the “folks who let her be exactly who she was and gave her the confidence to become exactly who she wanted to be.” Throughout, Goldberg’s earthy, no-nonsense voice anchors her commentary on the ravages of bereavement (“If you go into a funk, then really let yourself go fully into it. Pull up a fainting chair. Draw the curtains. Close out the world for a while and get as insane in your grief as you ever thought you could”). This is no dishy Hollywood tell-all—it’s a salve for wounded souls. (May)

Booklist

[Whoopi’s] new memoir is an emotional and uplifting exploration as, with her unique voice and trademark wit, she reflects on the people, places, and experiences that have made her the multi-award-winning icon she is today…Goldberg’s fan base will be avid for the mix of memoir and guidance.”

People

Bits and Pieces shows the rise of a beloved performer, and is a tribute to the loved ones who supported her along the way.”

producer Barry Josephson

Anyone reading Whoopi’s book Bits and Pieces will come away, as Whoopi puts it, ‘knowing how to share the earth with other people’ better than they had before. Thanks, Whoopi.”

Good Housekeeping

Whoopi Goldberg is getting ready to give folks an intimate look at her life…When fans learned the Sister Act alum would be publishing another book, they immediately rushed to the comments to congratulate her.”

Bookstr

Goldberg relays the untold stories of her early years, starting with the projects in New York City. This sentimental story about family, identity, and determination was written after the loss of both her mother and brother. Much of the story describes the incredible guidance and opportunity her mother provided her, despite the trials and tribulations they experienced.”

AudioFile

Entertainer Whoopi Goldberg’s raspy timbre and amused tone make her the only person appropriate to narrate her memoir…The story of Goldberg’s career is skillfully woven into anecdotes featuring her exceptional mother, Emma Johnson, and her unique older brother, Clyde…Her performance is entirely professional, loving and varied, serious one moment and funny the next, with a sprinkling of four-letter words throughout. Mom, Brother, and Caryn/Whoopi will remain in listeners’ thoughts after hearing this singular memoir and performance.”

New York Journal of Books

A rare gem among many ho-hum celebrity memoirs.”

Library Journal

05/01/2024

EGOT-winning actor Goldberg (née Caryn Jonson) reflects on her early life and career in this earnest tribute to her family. As a child, she counted on two people: her mother, Emma, and her older brother, Clyde. Emma worked diligently as a nurse while teaching her children to take time for the small things. Clyde doted on his little sister and allowed her to hang out with him and his friends. Years later, when Goldberg became famous, she brought Emma and Clyde to awards functions, fundraisers, and galas. The loving bond between the family never broke, even after Emma's and Clyde's deaths. Black-and-white photos in the book further demonstrate how much Goldberg cherishes them. Goldberg's career is secondary to the family's story, which in this memoir ends after her 1991 Oscar win. Instead of speaking directly about her career, she talks fondly about people she met along the way. That includes Mike Nichols, who facilitated her big break by directing her first and one-woman Broadway show. VERDICT Told mostly in chronological order, this breezy and moving memoir portrays a close-knit family that includes a daughter who is also a celebrity. A fine addition to biography collections.—Anjelica Rufus-Barnes

APRIL 2024 - AudioFile

Entertainer Whoopi Goldberg's raspy timbre and amused tone make her the only person appropriate to narrate her memoir. As listeners hear just a trace of a New York City inflection at the ends of some sentences, the story of Goldberg's career is skillfully woven into anecdotes featuring her exceptional mother, Emma Johnson, and her unique older brother, Clyde. Born Caryn Johnson, Goldberg offers anecdotal, episodic, somewhat random memories of this close three-member family. Her performance is entirely professional, loving and varied, serious one moment and funny the next, with a sprinkling of four-letter words throughout. Mom, Brother, and Caryn/Whoopi will remain in listeners' thoughts after hearing this singular memoir and performance. W.A.G. © AudioFile 2024, Portland, Maine

Product Details

BN ID: 2940160384795
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 05/07/2024
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 200,058
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