From Publishers Weekly
Known for her celebrity profiles, journalist Dunn blends interviewing tips, dirt-digging secrets and memoir-type snippets in a mix that's tough to define, but a delight to read. As a frequent writer for Rolling Stone
and contributor to Vanity Fair
, Dunn can reach an array of stars and has the anecdotes to prove it. She details ducking the paparazzi with Mel Gibson, eating in Dolly Parton's kitchen and posing for three minutes as Ben Affleck's girlfriend to prove a point about how quickly gossip spreads. Refreshingly, she maintains an "Aw, shucks" quality that has become her work's hallmark. By providing a zesty glimpse at her New Jersey childhood and young adulthood, Dunn offers a grounded counterpoint to the breezy tales of pop idol handling. Even after rising in the ranks at Rolling Stone
, Dunn is mildly astounded that a Jersey girl who still slips phrases like "Yeah, right!" into her conversation should be shaking in her ritzy hotel room after being berated by Flashdance
icon Jennifer Beals for asking about her personal life. Amusing, clever and affable, Dunn shares a satisfying memoir-turned-celebrity dish. (June)
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Dunn grew up culturally bereft in the nineteen-eighties, but parlayed a modest knowledge of pop music into a job at Rolling Stone. After establishing her bona fides as a square, she devotes her memoir to an inside look at being a celebrity journalist and the eventual toll this takes on her soul. The chapters alternate between entertaining set piecespeeking into Madonna's bathroom, being given Velveeta cheese by Dolly Parton (Dunn still has it in her freezer), turning down a rocker's offer of heroinand considerations of what it means to be an aging rock chick. Dunn tells her story in the brisk prose of a magazine profile, and, in keeping with her memoir's title, she goes easy on personal matters, apparently preferring to show the life of a celebrity interviewer refracted through the lives she writes about.
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker