Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein

Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein

by Jamie Bernstein


$27.68 $28.99 Save 5% Current price is $27.68, Original price is $28.99. You Save 5%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, September 23


The oldest daughter of revered composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein offers a rare look at her father on the centennial of his birth in a deeply intimate and broadly evocative memoir

The composer of On the Town and West Side Story, chief conductor of the New York Philharmonic, television star, humanitarian, 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.

An intoxicating tale, Famous Father Girl is an intimate meditation on a complex and sometimes troubled man, the family he raised, and the music he composed that became the soundtrack to their entwined lives. Deeply moving and often hilarious, Bernstein’s beautifully written memoir is a great American story about one of the greatest Americans of the modern age.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062641359
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/12/2018
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 382,385
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

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.

Table of Contents

1 The Osborne 1

2 The Vineyard and Redding 17

3 Park Avenue and Fairfield 33

4 The First Shadows 49

5 The Beatles Portal 59

6 Summer Games 69

7 A Little Teen in '60s New York 79

8 School, Family, and the World 87

9 Stone Teen 99

10 One Toe Out of the Nest 119

11 Shifting Grounds 139

12 Not Really Grownup 157

13 Here Come the Terrors 179

14 Crawling from the Wreckage 215

15 The East-West Shuffle 241

16 Quiet-ish 255

17 Redding, Wecord, and What Was in Between 275

18 Forward Motion 289

19 An Arrival 303

20 A Departure 315

21 Life Goes On 329

22 A New Millennium 343

23 The Venezuela Connection 351

24 Lately 359

Acknowledgments 367

Image Credits 375

Index of Names 379

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews