Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story

Carol Burnett, Author
Carol Burnett. Simon & Schuster, $24 (160p) ISBN 978-1-4767-0641-2
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013
Release date: 04/09/2013
Library Binding - 256 pages - 978-1-61173-732-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4423-5855-3
Open Ebook - 160 pages - 978-1-4767-0642-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4423-5854-6
Paperback - 205 pages - 978-1-4767-5579-3
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Born in 1963, Burnett’s eldest daughter, Carrie Hamilton, was an actress and playwright beginning to establish a name for herself when she died of lung cancer at age 38, in January 2002. In this nostalgic look back at Hamilton’s short life and last work-in-progress, Burnett (One More Time) portrays a loving daughter who was nonetheless difficult during her adolescent years when she was abusing drugs heavily and spent several stints in rehab, before emerging as a gifted actress who landed a plum role as Maureen in the national tour of Rent. Burnett inserts into her chronological narrative excerpts from her own diary entries, for example during the fraught time when she and her then husband, Joe Hamilton, were beginning to suspect that their 15-year-old daughter was on drugs, and later e-mails and faxes exchanged between mother and daughter over her last years, when Hamilton was living in an isolated cabin by herself in Gunnison, Colo., and sending periodic installments to a story she was writing. “Sunrise in Memphis” related a whimsical road trip to Graceland, Tenn., by the 23-year-old hard-drinking Kate and a sweet, gentlemanly cowboy called F.M.; the story prompted Hamilton to take off on a real-life road trip through the South, sending impressionistic dispatches to Burnett. “Sunrise in Memphis” remained unfinished, but appears at the end of this poignant, piecemeal work. (Apr.)
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