cover image Don’t Call Me Home: A Memoir

Don’t Call Me Home: A Memoir

Alexandra Auder. Viking, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-29995-1

Actor and performance artist Auder debuts with an enthralling account of her childhood and adolescence living in the Chelsea Hotel with her mother, Andy Warhol superstar Viva, and sister, actor Gaby Hoffman. Auder’s narrative features cameos from downtown New York artists including her father, filmmaker Michel Auder, and stepmother, photographer Cindy Sherman, but the core is Auder’s messy, chaotic relationship with Viva. As a child, Auder fended off the hotel management’s demands for late rent, served as Hoffman’s caretaker, and acted as her mother’s confidante and adviser on everything from cosmetic surgery to romance. At times, the author’s love for her mother “burned the inside of my chest,” and at others, she longed to “hit her over the head with a cast-iron frying pan.” Auder braids these recollections with a present-day Christmas celebration shared with an 80-year-old Viva, after Auder has had children of her own, ultimately agreeing with her mother that “raising a daughter does feel like a crucifixion.” Funny, bracing, and compulsively readable, Auder’s memoir resists juicy gossip in favor of hard-won truths. This story of fraught but unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters is a gem. Agent: Marya Spence, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Apr.)