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She Ain't Heavy, She's My Mother: A Memoir Hardcover – May 4, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“I always knew that Bryan Batt was a wonderful actor, but now it turns out that he’s a terrific writer as well. It’s just not fair. In She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother, Bryan’s tales of his family, his New Orleans childhood, and his career are hilarious, beautifully observed, and touching. I’ve met Bryan’s mother, and he does her proud—they both deserve a float at Mardi Gras.”
–Paul Rudnick
 
“Bryan Batt has written an achingly funny and deeply moving portrait of his beautiful New Orleanian mother. This book is a cause for celebration, a Mardi Gras–sized celebration!”
–Patricia Clarkson
 
“Bryan Batt’s childhood is like a mash-up of a Tennessee Williams play and a Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland movie. This memoir is a gumbo of fun, feeling, and fortitude in the face of all that life has to throw at you. A fairy tale come true!”
–Alan Cumming
 
“Funny, honest, moving. A wonderful memoir from a fantastic, southern gentleman. Loved it! Don't miss this one.”
—Mario Cantone

About the Author

BRYAN BATT appears on the Emmy Award–winning drama Mad Men and has performed in many Broadway and off-Broadway productions, including Jeffrey, Starlight Express, Cats, and Beauty and the Beast.

Hazelnut, the home-accessory shop he owns with his partner in New Orleans, has been featured in the New York Times, House Beautiful, InStyle, and other publications.
 
www.BryanBatt.com
www.HazelnutNewOrleans.com
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307588858
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307588852
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,567,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By DJY51 VINE VOICE on May 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
I had the privilege of working with Bryan Batt and know him to be the kind, funny, genuine man you will read about in this delightful book, which is side-splittingly funny, tender and insightfully written.
When writing about signs that he was gay at an early age, Bryan mentions a gene that some of us have that gets triggered when first hearing a few notes from a Rogers and Hammerstein or Lerner and Loewe musical, which when once triggered, causes a love of all things Broadway. Watch this man perform, and you will be forever grateful that he possesses that gene.
From his performance as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, in third grade, to his starring role in Mad Men, you will see how the support and love from and for his family and friends anchored Bryan and helped him to become the magnificent man he is.
I am grateful to his partner Tom for giving Bryan a typewriter and telling him to write his stories!
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Format: Hardcover
This book takes you back. If you did not grow up in New Orleans, I did. It will make you want to come here. Bryan Batt hit the city perfectly. It is truly that way and it gave me smiles and laughs through out. If you have ever wanted to experience the south and the people that make it unique read this! The Author's mother is a true Steel Magnolia with Southern Charm and a tenacious spirit. It makes you want to meet her.

Could not put it down. Great Read!!
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Enjoyed reading this account of Bryan Batt's childhood with his mother. I am a New Orleans native and remember a lot of the places he referenced in the book, especially his family's connection to Ponchatrain Beach.
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It took me back to life in the 1970's in New Orleans, specifically living in Lake Vista. It was thoroughly entertaining. Very visual!
Comedic, yet sad. Will definitely send this book to Cape Town for my mother to read!!!
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Format: Paperback
Broadway journeyman and MAD MEN star Bryan Batt has crafted a loving tribute to his southern, genteel, big-hearted mother Gayle in a memoir about growing up in New Orleans in the 1960-70s. Bryan Batt, who most folks know as Sal on the earlier seasons of MAD MEN, was born in 1963 New Orleans to a wealthy family; well, he never comes out and says wealthy, but enough facts can be gathered to see that is was more of a societal existence. Batt's paternal grandfather built the Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park which was eventually left to Batt's father to run. You would think growing up with a family owning an amusement park would provide a cornucopia of stories, but this one doesn't; Batt barely mentions the park. His true childhood is with his mother and her family at society balls and pageants and other fashionable pursuits. Batt wonderfully describes seeing CABARET at the movies as a young child (although he places the year wrong) and going to the Plaza in New York with his mother and grandmother while in high school to see his first Broadway shows. That was my favorite passage, Batt's immersion into the city, knowing that he wants to make the city his home. Eventually he moves there after college and becomes known for turns in STARLIGHT EXPRESS, SUNSET BOULEVARD, CATS, JEFFREY and DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, but this isn't about his career, although that would be interesting, but instead about his mother and her semi-evolution from 60s housewife to proud mother of a Broadway star. As a love note to a specific woman in a time and place the book works, as a memoir, not so much.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are too many "Bad Mommy" books out there. C'mon now, everybody's mother can't have been the Witch of Endor! This was(is?) a woman with the same human failings, shortcomings, and weaknesses as the rest of us. So what makes her different? For one, she is a loving person with a sense of humor and a definite sense of style. No matter the family problems, she never turned her back on her husband whose drinking problems were enough to handle before even looking at other difficulties. In the miasmic atmosphrere of NOLA, like the rest of the Deep South immersed and submerged in racial divisiveness, Madame Batt never lowered herself to that level and did not allow her children to go there either. She faced her health issues that alone would have defeated others with unflinching faith in God and her doctors. I guess you can say "She kept the Faith!" and her son chose to share the goodness of his mother with those of us willing and anxious to accept his gift of love. The illustrations alone are worth the price of the book!
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What a great summer read. Nostalgic, humorous and thoughtful. And the cover is a dream. Congratulations Bryan. you are very multi-talented!
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Bryan writes a lovely tribute to his wonderful Mother. On the surface she at times seems dated and an out of touch southern bell. Mrs Batt is anything but. She is a strong loving woman, who even though human like us all, she shines with strength and a genteel dignity.

I really loved this book, sometimes you need a breath of fresh air and this book is just that. I laughed and cried, I enjoyed it and look forward to more from Bryan.

Bryan is a good writer, he paints a lovely picture of everyday life in the south, even making cheese grits sound good.

Thank you, for this touching very real look into your life.
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