From Publishers Weekly
World-famous for I Am Woman
and three other albums that went gold in the 1970s, Reddy was the daughter of hard-working, Australian vaudeville performers. Onstage with her parents since she was four, Reddy was 17 when she started getting her own singing gigs. She married at 19, but her husband was abusive when she became pregnant, so she moved out. Winning a ticket to America in a local singing contest, Reddy soon worked her way to the top of the charts. Unfortunately, her next husbands were also alcoholic and/or abusive, and Reddy struggled to recover financially and emotionally from each. While Reddy's career and husband problems are shared by many women in show business, her paranormal interests are distinctive. Reddy was 11 when she first experienced "astral projection"; later, she had a dream foretelling Robert Kennedy's assassination. Reincarnation, she explains, may involve individuals or groups of people "reincarnating together to resolve unfinished business." Thus, "Elvis was formerly King Tutankhamen," and "Richard Nixon was formerly Andrew Johnson, who was formerly Thomas Paine." Reddy also explains that AIDS is actually one of the long-dormant "biblical plagues." While mainstream Reddy fans may be turned off by the New Age–speak, alternative-reality readers won't bat an eye. Photos. (May)
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Unforgettable for the seventies feminist anthem "I Am Woman," Reddy became the first Australian to garner, in the same year, a Grammy, her own prime-time American TV show, and three number-one singles. The daughter of Australian vaudevillians, born six weeks after Pearl Harbor, she made her theatrical debut at age five. From childhood, she divided people into those who were in show business and those who weren't, and she always dreamed of going to America, where everything was "bigger and better." Her warm, inviting memoir discusses lean years making the rounds of Sydney nightclubs, a disastrous first marriage to an alcoholic, peripatetic early days in America, and then the unprecedented, life-changing success of "I Am Woman." She is moving about her losses, including her parents' deaths at the height of her fame and her own diagnosis with Addison's disease. She devotes a good deal of the book to her rich spiritual life, particularly her fascination with astral projection and reincarnation. Devotees of feminism and spirituality may join Reddy's musical fans in appreciating her story. June SawyersCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved