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Born with Teeth: A Memoir Paperback – January 12, 2016
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A "gem of a memoir...readers will savor Mulgew's gift for erudite, honest writing and want to read more about her mesmerizing life."
A "vivaciously lyrical memoir, revealing [Mulgrew] as a character more fascinating than any she's played."
―Natalie Beach, O Magazine
"[Kate's] voice is engaging and funny...Reading about her life, which contains real trauma as well as success, is like being told stories by a good friend over drinks. She takes you behind the scenes on-stage and off, and it's a fascinating journey."
―Jenn Northington, BookRiot
"Written with a marvelous flair for anecdote and detail" and a "candid, jaunty, pinch-of-sarcasm verbiage."
―Joe McGovern, Entertainment Weekly
"Mulgrew swaggers endearingly across its pages, her 'able and hardy constitution' ever on display as she powers through the many challenges--both personal and professional--that life has tossed her way. Eloquent and impassioned, the book reaches beyond the standard Hollywood memoir to something more affecting and enduring...Throughout, she narrates with the grandeur of a stage diva holding court: 'Actresses. What a bunch of sad saps, we are,' she intones. 'Madly in love with the child. Madly in love with the craft. Trying desperately to forge an alliance with the two, and constantly failing.' Mulgrew can be proud that this memoir, her defining monologue, proves otherwise."
―Nora Krug, Washington Post
"It seems unfair that such a talented actress is also such a talented writer."
―Gwen Ihnat, The Onion A.V Club
"A powerful, beautifully written piece of work."
―The Chicago Tribune
"Stunningly candid about everything from the search for her daughter to aging in Hollywood, the actress...brings it all in her arresting new memoir."
―Mary Green, People
"Mulgrew has a big story to tell--several stories, actually--and she tells it with a straightforward lyricism that made me think immediately of Patti Smith's Just Kids and Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes. It's that good."
―Joanna Connors, The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"She has formidable literary skill herself, as she makes clear from the first page of her book (I defy anyone not to fall for her from the first lines)."
―Cahir O'Doherty, The Irish Voice
"Born with Teeth jumps spectacularly from tale to trial, each approached with abandon and honesty. Reading it feels like joining a friend on a spontaneous adventure that extends to another day, another party, another trip, leaving you breathless and unable to do anything but follow."―Christine Thomas, The Miami Herald
"Richly descriptive and relatable, the book will make you a fan of Mulgrew."
―Marisa Spyker, Coastal Living
―Diane LaRue, The Auburn Citizen
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Kate Mulgrew is an American actress noted for her roles as Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, Mary Ryan on Ryan's Hope, and, most recently, Galina "Red" Reznikov on Orange Is the New Black. She has performed in numerous television shows, theater productions, and movies. She is the winner of a Golden Satellite Award, a Saturn Award, and an Obie Award and has been nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy.
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Top customer reviews
She begins her honest, brilliant, heartbreaking memoir by talking about her large Irish Catholic family. Jiki and Ace, as her parents were called, lived in Iowa, and had a typically large brood of children. They lost two of their daughters, one to SIDS, whom four year-old Kate mistakenly believed she had killed, and a teenage daughter who died a slow, painful death.
Kate's mother was a steely, artistic, not very affectionate woman who loved books. Books were important to the Mulgrew family, and when Kate decided she wanted to be a poet because she was chosen to read her poem at a school assembly, her mother convinced her to read The White Cliffs of Dover after she read her poems, and when the nuns sobbed during her Kate's rendition, she knew she had found her calling: acting.
Born With Teeth recounts the important events and people in Kate Mulgrew's life. She stated at an appearance to launch her book that it "summed up everything that defined me", and that may be the best way to describe this stunningly written book.
If you are looking for a run-of-the-mill celebrity biography, look elsewhere. Fans of Ryan's Hope may be disappointed that there is no juicy backstage gossip here. Only producer Claire Labine and Nancy Addison (Jillian Coleridge) are mentioned, and that is because they were good friends of Mulgrew.
When Mulgrew was working on Ryan's Hope and just in her early 20s, she became pregnant. She came to the agonizing decision to give her baby up for adoption, and that decision changed and colored her entire life.
Mulgrew worked hard at her craft, and the stage was her first love, even though she had huge success on TV. The chapters on working on Mrs. Columbo (and how she got that job after turning it down) and Star Trek: Voyager give an insider's look at the incredibly long days and hard work it takes to be a major TV actress.
She wasn't as lucky in love though. After meeting a wealthy Italian man and giving up her career to be with him, she fell in love with a man in Seattle who worked on the play in which she was cast. The love of her life came later, in Ireland, where she met a man for whom she fell head-over-heels in love.
Mulgrew and her husband had two sons in two years, and trying to be a working mother and spend time with her children was a struggle, one that many women will be able to relate to. There is a chapter where she takes her sons to the Star Trek premiere,and their behavior embarrasses her, that will make any mother cringe.
Born With Teeth is so beautifully written, and so honest. Mulgrew doesn't shy away from her mistakes and her flaws. She comes from an Irish family, where stoicism was the watchword, so this makes it even more remarkable. She is not afraid to portray her warts, whether as a woman or a mother, and I find that refreshing.
It feels like each word is so carefully chosen, yet it also feels like it sprang full-blown from her head, ready to publish. The Irish are known for their eloquence, and Mulgrew clearly inherited that from her ancestors.
I know we will see her again as an actress (season three of Orange is The New Black will be available on Netflix on June 12 and season 4 will be filming soon), I hope that we will hear again soon from author Kate Mulgrew as well.
This is a funny and at times poignant account of an Irish Catholic kid from Iowa who wanted to be an actress, landed in NYC, and became a soap icon in extremely short order. However, that was only for starters.
In this memoir she lays everything out including a daughter that she reluctantly gave away for adoption and the account of finding her daughter decades later, stage acting with Richard Burton, marriage, two sons, divorce, a Star Trek spinoff, an interesting spinoff of Columbo where Peter Falk remains unseen, and eventually more fame and another new following as the unique Red.
I liked this book a lot and no small part was Mulgrew herself. It is written with an honesty and openness that is rare. When I read this I could hear her distinctive voice and I could feel her elation as well as her pain. When she discussed her daughter and her relationship with her baby's father, it was one of those life changing events that she might have ignored altogether working from the assumption that the media had been kind and had not hinted that a written in soap pregnancy coincided with her real life pregnancy.
Was this book fun? It was so honest, funny, and loving that this was a delightful and easy read due in part to Mulgrew's non-diva working actress persona.
End shot? This is a lovely account of talented and charming lady on the way to fame and critical acclaim who quite fortunately sees things realistically.