cover image Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep

Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep

Erin Carlson. Hachette, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-48527-2

Entertainment journalist Carlson follows I’ll Have What She’s Having, her 2017 examination of writer and director Nora Ephron’s romantic comedies, with this fast-paced and enjoyable homage to acting legend Meryl Streep. In a breathless, admiring tone, Carlson quickly covers Streep’s childhood and education before rushing onto her career. Streep’s roles—including Linda in The Deer Hunter, her star-making role in Kramer vs. Kramer, and as the unforgettable Miranda Priestly in the film adaptation of The Devil Wears Prada—are meticulously covered. Though Streep has had an extraordinary run, Carlson too eagerly absolves her of any responsibility for less than apt role choices (She-Devil with Roseanne Barr, for example). The focus is on Streep’s extraordinary dramatic gifts, but Carlson regularly reminds readers of the difficulties women face—especially in Hollywood—over getting equal pay, dealing with ageism, and deflecting unwanted sexual attention (Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, and Harvey Weinstein are mentioned unflatteringly) as well as of Streep’s feminist activism. Generously supplemented with gossipy sidebars and lists and with fashion magazine–like brush-and-ink drawings, Carlson’s latest will be embraced by Streep-struck fans, but cinephiles will have to wait longer for an in-depth examination of Streep’s extraordinary career. Agent: Daniel Greenberg, Levine, Greenberg, Rostan Literary Agency (Sept.)