She Always Knew How: Mae West, a Personal Biography

Charlotte Chandler, Author . Simon & Schuster $26 (317p) ISBN 978-1-4165-7909-0

Chandler (Not the Girl Next Door: Joan Crawford ) draws on her interviews with the 86-year-old Mae West, known for her “risqué brand of humor,” in this chatty memoir. West carefully constructed and guarded the image of her personality as a woman who enjoyed sex at a time when “skirts had to cover ankles.” She contended she was “never vulgar. The word for me was suggestive.” West (1893–1980) craved the spotlight from a young age and had been a success in vaudeville, where she began to write her own material. Her screen legend perfected her sexually playful alter ego in such films as She Done Him Wrong , which contained her most quoted line: “Come up and see me sometime.” Chandler also includes West's first-person account of her 10 days in jail, when she was found guilty of producing an immoral Broadway show, her first full-length play, Sex . West remained a box-office draw into her 70s, appearing in the 1970 film Myra Breckinridge . Whether discussing her love life or advising on playwriting or beauty tips, Mae West was always entertaining. Photos. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/12/2009
Release date: 02/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4165-7913-7
Hardcover - 477 pages - 978-1-4104-1670-4
Paperback - 317 pages - 978-1-4234-8410-3
Paperback - 317 pages - 978-1-84739-637-2
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4711-0584-5
Show other formats
Discover what to read next