Arti's Reviews > Then Again

Then Again by Diane Keaton
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Nov 30, 2011

it was amazing
Read from November 20 to 25, 2011

It's interesting to read Diane Keaton's memoir after Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending. In contrast to Tony's hazy past in Barnes's novel, here we have memories strung together with clarity and adequate documentation. Take a look at these insert photos. I admit, they were the very reasons the second I opened the library copy that I decided I must get my own to keep.

These are journals belonging to Diane's mother Dorothy Keaton. She first started with a series of letters she wrote from her California home to her eldest daughter Diane, who had moved to NYC at age 19. Letter writing developed into full volumes of family journals and scrapbooks. Further, she had kept detailed documentation of Diane's career from 1969 to 1984. With the onset of Alzheimer's, Dorothy still kept close contact with her daughter through letters and phone calls, leaving phone messages which showed the signs of a mind quickly sliding down the slope.

Diane has poignantly interwoven her own thoughts and memories with her mother Dorothy's, a daughter's attempt to capture life that was THEN in order to relive the moments AGAIN. Diane's father Jack Hall died of cancer in 1990, only a few months after the diagnosis. Dorothy died of Alzheimer's in 2008. This memoir is a joint endeavor of a daughter with her mother who has passed on, yet whose presence is strongly felt:

"Now I'm alone, juggling with a memoir that's also your memoir."

Diane Hall grew up in California and had enjoyed a vibrant suburban family life before she moved to NYC to study at The Neighborhood Playhouse. She kept close contact with her family through letters. I admire her courage to reveal these correspondences, for through them, we see the private side of Diane Keaton, a persona with all the insecurities and non-glamorous aspects of a real life human being. After the Neighborhood Playhouse, she decided to change her name from Hall to Keaton. She got her first break in the musical Hair. This is her letter home:

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Christine Wow I just red these two books right in a row. I so appreciate your comments.


Arti Christine, I've enjoyed both but also find how they differ. You're welcome to visit my blog where I've both reviews posted, and some more. ;)


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