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Born with Teeth

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  6,262 ratings  ·  1,162 reviews
Raised by unconventional Irish Catholics who knew "how to drink, how to dance, how to talk, and how to stir up the devil," Kate Mulgrew grew up with poetry and drama in her bones. But in her mother, a would-be artist burdened by the endless arrival of new babies, young Kate saw the consequences of a dream deferred. Determined to pursue her own no matter the cost, at 18 she ...more
Hardcover, 302 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Little, Brown and Company
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3.88  · 
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 ·  6,262 ratings  ·  1,162 reviews


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I listened to this in audio almost entirely so that I could hear Kate Mulgrew say “born with teeth” through her teeth. Listener, it was worth it. I loved watching Mulgrew as Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager because of her strong, commanding presence, the way she was in charge of that whole star ship, the way she’d say “we’re just trying to get home.” (I really like her voice, okay?) People always praise Amy Poehler and Tina Fey for their no-holds-barred attitudes in their memoirs, but their ...more
Barbara
Aug 11, 2015 rated it liked it


Kate Mulgrew

Inspired to become an actress in grade school, Kate Mulgrew strove to fulfill that goal and - by dint of ambition, talent, hard work, and good luck - succeeded. Kate grew up in a large Irish family with somewhat eccentric parents - an artistic mom and a free-spirited dad - who drank hard, partied hard, and had child after child. Though there was apparently much love in the family, there was never enough food or attention to the children. The tragic illness of a young sister made the
...more
Ashley
“But the fact is,” I continued, “that despite their sadness, and despite my guilt, and despite Egan’s anger, I went ahead and did what I needed to do for myself. In the end, it’s selfish.”

“I think you’re wrong there. It feels selfish at the time, because the pain is excruciating, but there is no nobility in hanging on to something that is miserable and false. We have to fight for our happiness in life.”

I knew I wanted to read this book as soon as I heard about it. I love Janeway (the captain
...more
Julie
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew is a 2015 Little Brown and Company publication.

Kate Mulgrew is one of my husband’s favorite actresses, not because of her theatre or stage accomplishments, but for what is perhaps her best known role- that of Captain Janeway, in the television show “Star Trek Voyager”.

From my personal standpoint, I remembered this actress from wwaayyy back in the day, when she had a key role on the soap opera “Ryan’s Hope” as ‘story’ my mother frequently tuned into. I also rememb
...more
Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell

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Like many others, I was interested in this memoir because I fell in love with her Star Trek: Voyager character, Kathryn Janeway. It was such an important show for me as a kid because I've always been interested in fantasy and science-fiction, but until fairly recently, all of the main characters were men. I used to write fan-fiction gender-swapping the leads, giving myself a female version of my favorite series that I could aspire to be. Ka
...more
Jakalak
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received an advanced reading copy of Kate Mulgrew's memoir Born with Teeth for free through Goodreads First Reads and, in the spirit of that program, I am providing some honest feedback:

A moving and engrossing story. Kate Mulgrew has edited her life into a flowing narrative that reads more like a novel than a celebrity memoir. The prose is lovely, and I was pleased to find that I had to look up a word once or twice. I got the flavor of who Kate Mulgrew is and where she came from, and I liked t
...more
Renee
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
It was ok, but not a must read. It felt like you were skimming over her life, and things didn't always make sense in the flow. Though if I was remembering things from a few decades back, my story might not be coherent either. For instance, her mother often jetted off to London, or the family to Ireland; but she had to work a couple jobs to raise money for school. Or things would be introduced, but then dropped. I felt like I only had half the story. She'd mention she worked with a certain actor, ...more
Nikki
Apr 19, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book should be renamed "Kate falls in love a few times" because thats basically what the book is about. A couple of siblings dying, getting the role in Startrek and ending a marriage are all summarised in a few lines or a paragraph, but every new love gives us the word for word details of every single date and meeting at the start of all the relationships. The analysis of a single card received by a new lover took up more space than most of the childhood years.

I was hoping for a story of a
...more
Meg M
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography
It's so hard with autobiographies to judge the quality of writing more than the story itself, or (more importantly) the narrator. So, for the quality of writing, I give it four stars. But I don't think Kate Mulgrew and I could ever hang out.

I will say I tore through this book in about five days of reading on the train, so it was definitely a page turner. A great beach read or something for a long plane ride.
Marina Kravchuk
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Back in February, I had a great opportunity to read an advanced reading copy of Kate Mulgrew's new memoir Born With Teeth. To say that I was impressed by it is to say nothing. I was completely floored. I admit that I had expected it to be well-written, having heard Ms. Mulgrew speak on multiple occasions at various events. And, being a fan, I could guess at some of the themes she would be certainly discussing in the book. What I did not anticipate was just how powerfully and beautifully her eloq ...more
Char
Captain Janeway was a fascinating character to me. As a devoted Star Trek fan, the first female captain was a big deal. At first her voice bothered me, but I got used to it quickly, and from there I developed a real liking for the character, and I wanted to learn more about the person.

Kate Mulgrew wrote and narrated this autobiography herself. In some ways I learned a lot about her life, but in other ways, I felt she skimmed over some important events, about which I would have liked to have le
...more
Antigone
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-biography
Kate Mulgrew doesn't bother with preliminaries. She's not going to tell you what prompted the writing of this memoir or why she chose to do it now. To locate those answers you'll need to scour through recent interviews from the up-and-running publicity tour, where you'll find her crediting her current role in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black with providing the requisite literary impetus. Galina "Red" Reznikov, an overweight and profoundly haggard Russian inmate of the prison in which t ...more
Kathi
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is one of those books where I wish Goodreads had a star rating between “It was okay” (2) and “I liked it” (3), because Born with Teeth falls into that imagined crevice for me. I wonder if I would have felt differently if I had read the book instead of listening to it, narrated by Kate Mulgrew. Her narration was wonderful; clearly she is not just an actress, but a stage actress. The writing was good, but I found myself increasingly rolling my eyes over what she considered “agony” and the wor ...more
lit.erary.britt
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Grief moves through the system much as love does. It seeks expression. So I put my grief where it naturally belonged, in the company of an old and experienced wound.”

I could listen to Mulgrew tell stories all day. Her voice is rough, yet soothing. Her writing is lovely. She’s had an intriguing life, but something throws me off a bit. The ego, maybe? Nonetheless, I liked this memoir.
Erica
Either Goodreads has been busy eating reviews or I just thought I posted a bunch when, in reality, I didn't. I could have sworn I had for this, though. But who knows. I'm old and senile and have no idea what's going on in my life anymore.
So here's a review, better late than never.

4 stars. Entertaining!

This totally sounds like a novel, not an autobiography, which may have something to do with Mulgrew reading her own book. Still, it reads like Cheaper by the Dozen mixed with "A Christmas Story", a
...more
Mark
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
*I won this book as a First Reads Giveaway* This woman is amazing. To be honest, I was not very familiar with her work as an actress. I knew her best as Billy Crystal's novel theiving ex-wife in Throw Momma From the Train and (ha ha) her role in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins which I watched as a child of the 80's all the time. Years later I would recognize her as Red on Orange Is the New Black. My brother, however, is a huge, huge Star Trek fan and while never having seen an episode myself ...more
Michael
While Kate Mulgrew's memoir Born With Teeth touches on some of the iconic roles that brought her to the public eye, the focus isn't on her career but instead on the personal choices that made her who she is. And while the Star Trek fan in me hopes that someday she'll revisit her time on Voyager in greater depth, I can't help but really like what Mulgrew shares here.

She's not afraid to be unconventional, witty and self-deprecating, many times within the same paragraph. As Mulgrew relates the stor
...more
Alesia
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Kate's memoir is well written and tells the story of quite an interesting life. Having not known much about Kate's life and career, this made for a fun read, and I would hazard a guess that fans will then absolutely love this book. I always enjoy looking through the lens of another person's perspective, especially when they are so unlike yourself -- makes for a thought provoking read. This memoir is engaging and a very fast read. Pick up if you're a fan or you would like to live in a different w ...more
Melissa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kasa Cotugno
I loved listening to Kate Mulgrew tell her story in her own voice. Her life has been filled with drama, but given her family history which imbued her with strength, she has weathered events that many would have used as excuses for giving up. And she never has. That family, large and loving, has been a constant, and at a recent personal visit, she revealed she couldn't have written this book until after both of her parents had died. And she insisted on not using a euphemism. She said she was clos ...more
Kathryn
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
i read the galley of this book, truly fabulous.
it can make you laugh and cry simultaneously, and keeps your attention through out. i never knew she was such a good writer, and and didn't know a lot of what she tells the reader of her childhood and personal life. she does a great job of keeping the flow of the book, not something lots of writers can do. Kate Mulgrew is a wonderful inspiration, actress, and writer.
Tara
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, audiobook
Kate Mulgrew's voice is lyrical and her words powerful. Her stories captivated and affected me; I was brought to tears on several occassions. I loved this memoir, and am glad I bought the audio version.

My only complaint is that it ends too soon. Where are her stories from the last 15 years? But I will not subtract a star for my disappointment. It ends well.
Laurel-Rain
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The first daughter of Joan and Thomas Mulgrew came into the world with four tiny baby teeth, and while the parents were amazed and crowed over her beauty, the friends and neighbors in Dubuque, Iowa, worried that being so proud of her looks would bring nothing good.

Eventually, however, the tiny teeth were removed by the doctor, and the baby grew normally, developing a zest for solid food.

Thus began the life of Kate Mulgrew, who was followed by several more babies, until the family eventually move
...more
Jo Marjoribanks
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Kate Mulgrew is a very talented actress, and also, as it turns out, a beautifully gifted writer. Her lyrical eloquence weaves a tale so vivid and engaging that I could see it all playing out in my mind as if it were a movie. Kate lays out in unapologetic honesty a life filled with adventure, grief, trauma, and, above all, a tremendous passion for her work and her family. As she shares the intimate details of the pain of giving up her daughter for adoption, surviving a rape, losing two sisters an ...more
Cherie
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I felt Ms. Mulgrew's book was very honest and truthful. I admire her very much, for what she has gone through in her life, and what she has done on TV and on Stage. I enjoyed listening to her tell me her story very much. Keep writing, Kate, you did a great job with your story, and I will be interested in reading what comes next.
Jamie Thomas
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Born With Teeth is wonderfully written. I was captivated from the first chapter. Kate Mulgrew tells the story of her life with great passion and honesty. What a journey! I Loved it.
Diane
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I learned to love Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway. I had no inkling of any of the other work she had done before or since. Her life seems full of pivotal events and tumultuous relationships. But her writing is so evocative, at times whimsical and at others exciting or brutally honest, that I think she could make eating a cucumber sandwich sound exciting.

I find it astonishing that despite all the gossip-worthy events of her life, that the media were so reticent. Mulgrew says they were respectful
...more
Paul
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Last week, my friend and manager of Trappist Caskets Sam Mulgrew and Kate's brother, gave me a copy of her memoir. I read it quickly and enjoyed it. It's a book for fans of "Ryan's Hope" and "Star Trek: Voyager." Growing up in Dubuque and leaving for Sella Adler's acting classes in New York at 17, she landed a job and created a character that was much loved on TV and acted in many plays. There were parts in the book in which Kate was brutely honest about her life and actions and I admire her for ...more
Ron Monteiro
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want to read this book, I highly recommend picking up the audiobook version.

Not that it isn't beautifully written - it is. But to hear the book in Kate Mulgrew's own voice is the best way to experience it.

I picked up this book because I'd listened to Ms. Mulgrew read "The Days of Anna Madrigal", and enjoyed her performance so much that I wanted more. I did not have a particular interest in her life story, but I thought it would be a nice followup to that.

But the story hooked me in, right
...more
Desiree Sweet
Feb 03, 2015 rated it liked it
This is an interesting story of Kate Mulgrew's life so far. She is a great writer so I enjoyed reading about Kate's life. I didn't know much about her so I was pleasantly surprised at her story. I wish she would have spoke more about her relationship with her daughter which was one of the main underlying subjects in the book. If you enjoyed her early career you will love her story. I highly recommend this book to her fans.
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Kate Mulgrew is an American actress noted for her roles as Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, Mary Ryan on Ryan's Hope, and, most recently, Galina "Red" Reznikov on Orange Is the New Black. She has performed in numerous television shows, theater productions, and movies. She is the winner of a Golden Satellite Award, a Saturn Award, and an Obie Award and has been nominated for a Golden ...more
“I think you’re wrong there. It feels selfish at the time, because the pain is excruciating, but there is no nobility in hanging on to something that is miserable and false. We have to fight for our happiness in life.” 10 likes
“I'm scared,' I said, 'There doesn't seem to be any way out.'

'No,' Beth corrected me, 'there are in fact several ways out, but all of them are painful. You have to know your own tolerance for pain, what you can endure, what you know you can live with and what you can't live without.”
8 likes
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