Fire in the Rain-- Singer in the Storm: An Autobiography

Holly Near, Author William Morrow & Company $19.95 (290p) ISBN 978-0-688-08733-3
Folksinger, political activist, entrepreneur, this self-described overachiever, writing with freelancer Richardson, packs a lot of information into this autobiography of her first 40 years. Near's early show-biz aspirations led her to Broadway and Hollywood in the late '60s, but, we're told, a budding social consciousness intervened. Stirred by the antiwar movement, she began her political education with a Third World tour with ``Free the Army,'' Jane Fonda's agitprop troup. Back home in L.A., Near spurned commercial offers and, instead, dived into the folksinging circuit. She also became a businesswoman, marketing herself and managing her Redwood record label. While promoting a raft of radical causes, she was involved with the likes of Fonda, Tom Hayden and the vocal group The Weavers. But her restless activities work against the self-reflective writing here. Many of Near's observations, especially those recounting her extensive travels throughout the Third World, lean heavily on leftist rhetoric. The book surmounts this tendency when discussing Near's decision to ``come out'' as a lesbian, and she brings an insider's perceptions to ongoing debates, about separatism and the like, within the gay community. Photos not seen by PW . (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Paperback - 978-0-688-10964-6
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