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The Woman I Am Hardcover – May 4, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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 Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee; 1st American Ed edition (May 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585424897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585424894
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,510,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In the time-honored tradition of celebrity memoir, Helen Reddy's The Woman I Am is utterly scannable without worrying itself with soul searching or excessive detail. I nonetheless studied it like it was the Torah. Reddy's story, however, is more interesting than the one presented in this tome: a young, divorced Australian single mother with a pretty voice & dreams of stardom comes to America, becomes first Australian to win a Grammy Award & host an American television show, writes THE anthem of the feminist movement (which is still being sampled & covered -- including an amusing revision as a jingle for a chain of fast food restaurant, I Am Man), privately battles Addison's disease (still not sure what that is), parts company with record label after the hits stop happening, loses an unspecified fortune when her addict husband/manager embezzles her earnings (some $30 million, if you believe Julia Phillips account in You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again), manages to find the will to divorce him AND pay off the debts he'd saddled her with (hear her ROAR!), retires from the showbiz racket and becomes a hynotherapist living off an AFTRA pension. What a ride.

What's the tell-tale sign of a cheap autobiography? No index! So it's not surprising that there is a dearth of detail. Her husbands, for example, are never even referred to by name -- Number One, Number Two, Number Three. (Taking feminism a little far, don't you think?) Reddy goes on ad nauseum (charts and everything!) about her interest in geneology and New Age mysticism, but it is her body of recorded work -- a multiplatinum greatest hits package, for heavens sake! -- for which she will be most remembered, yet she treats it almost in passing, perhaps because her meteoric rise coincided with the deaths of both her parents.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book in 2 days. I was fasinated! I have waited for 30 years to read about Helen. I have loved her music for 30 years. I was glad to know that she seems to be a loving and warm woman. The best thing she said that she was glad that her children turned out to be good and kind people. They must have learned it somewhere!

As for that unkind review a few up, he obviously didn't read the end of the book. The part where she says , "You are what you think about." and "KINDNESS BEGETS KINDNESS:.
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Format: Hardcover
I am so grateful to this generous performer who gave the world so much first rate

crafty sophisticated beautiful music that she made her own - there is no debate that they (She?) broke the mold that she was cast from. Helen earned the first Grammy given to an Australian, that I didn't know until today.As well she had a dozen songs reach the top forty in an era not so long ago when radio dominated the media , and it made you feel good to listen to "pop" music.

High class with no airs, the author did us all a service when she wrote this reflective heartfelt recollection of her experience as an artist in the 20th century, a working mother who held high standards, worked prodigiously , and left the world a legacy- and truly doesnt have an ego to protect, She reveals herself to be vulnerable and insightful all the way. I noticed that like many artists, she doesn't have much to say about the emotional or intellectual stuff of the songs- which is ineffable, personal, and can be felt and understood only by listening to the music itself.

There is much in this book to be appreciated, layers of history, vignettes of another time, in another place.One feels the members of her family peaking through- almost sitting beside this reader.Helen's love of the richness of geneology and history is so kindly revealed, as is her enthusiasm, kindness, compassion, and what I consider leading edge thought. Right on sister!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book. In fact, I couldn't put it down. Helen Reddy does a fine job of telling readers the significant events of her childhood and early-adult life in Australia, leading to her risky move as a single-parent to New York. Unfortunately, from that point on, instead of recanting the details of the years she was a big-time recording artist, she doesn't go into very much detail, i.e. How was she chosen to host the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL? What was it like on the set? How did she choose which songs to record?

I applaud her decision not to mention her ex-husbands by name--why give them undeserved press? However, "Husband Number Two" and his drug abuse must have played a significant role in shaping her career. I wanted more specifics of the abuses, her perceived weaknesses in enabling his continued abuse, etc.

The book takes a strange detour about 2/3 of the way through, when Helen talks about her successes tracing her family roots, and then really goes "Jackie Stallone" with her experiences with hypnotherapy. Interesting stuff, but probably better served as a separate written work.

In conclusion, the book is an engaging and worthy read that has my mind dancing with ideas triggered by her experiences with reincarnation, deja vu, and hypnotherapy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A remarkable story about one of the most talented women in 70's pop music. Helen wrote this book herself and wrote a very interesting and moving story about her life. It reads like fiction, unlike many autobiographies. Her story is unusual, compelling and very interesting. It is the story of growing up in show business, becoming a feminist in a world dominated by men and making it big in the American entertainment business then choosing to leave it behind for personal growth. Helen's story is unforgettable. You are swept into her world in the first few pages and taken on a very interesting journey. I have always enjoyed her music and it was very moving to be told the struggles, loves and thoughts of the woman behind the songs. I am Woman will always be my anthem and The Woman I Am has made me feel as if I have made a dear friend. I recommended this for anyone growing up in the 70's and especially for anyone wondering what show business is like for a determined, sensitive woman trying to make sense of a crazy world and finding ways to make peace with her soul. I loved this book, it has made me look inside myself in new ways.
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