Wendy's Got the Heat

Wendy Williams, Author, Karen Hunter, With Atria Books $24 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7434-7021-6
Drug addiction, divorce, miscarriages, infidelity--such is the stuff of gripping biography--but the story of Williams' rise to radio fame is less than the sum of its parts, at least as it's told here. Williams, a deejay on New York R&B and hip-hop station WBLS, is something of a rarity in the industry: a top-rated African-American woman. She relates that she always felt like an outsider:""I was the black girl in a practically all-white school. And among the handful of blacks, I was the 'white girl,' the outcast."" But she was sure great things were ahead.""I knew that one day my being different would pay off,"" she writes. While Williams goes on to explain that her success came through hard work and dedication, she doesn't show the nitty-gritty of her job--how a studio operates, how she came up with her style, what she actually does at work--which is a shortcoming in a book about a radio personality. Instead, Williams offers a very readable but standard-issue confessional autobiography, told in a smooth vernacular; she relates her long-term drug abuse, which began with marijuana in college and progressed to cocaine; her problems with men; her desire for happiness and success. The story might be inspirational for some, but it's not always deeply analytical: her drug use, for example, helps her realize that""getting high with muthafuckas doesn't do anything for you except give people something to talk about or worse. Nobody's going to stick around if something goes down. And nobody's got your back."" This is an worthy tale, but it's best suited to serious Williams fans, who will welcome information on her hard-won sobriety, her liposuction and breast implants, her love for her son and her tips for keeping a man.
Reviewed on: 08/01/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
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