Busy Brat-Packers

October 23, 2012

If the movies Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire or Pretty in Pink resonate with you, you likely know of the Brat-Pack actors that starred within. Three of those actors, who arguably defined an era, have recently appeared on the bookshelves as writers.

Molly Ringwald explored writing in her 2010 Memoir/Lifestyle Guide called Getting the Pretty Back- Friendships, Family and Finding the Perfect Lipstick. She clearly has a sense of humour. Now she has written an ambitious “novel in stories”, When It Happens to You. Released in August, this collection has received many positive reviews:

Writing with a deep compassion for human imperfection, Ringwald follows a Los Angeles family and their friends and neighbors as they negotiate the hazardous terrain of everyday life — revealing the deceptions, heartbreak, and vulnerability familiar to us all.”

Rob Lowe’s memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, was apparently considered by the publishers to be so well-written that he’s been extended a contract for a new memoir to continue the story.

“A wryly funny and surprisingly moving account of an extraordinary life lived almost entirely in the public eye. Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last twenty-five years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.”

Andrew McCarthy, of the three, has most significantly reinvented himself as a writer, a multi award-winning travel writer in fact. He is presently an Editor-at-Large of National Geographic Traveler magazine. This one makes the cut for me; I’ve put it on my to-read list.

This is a perfectly balanced combination of travel diary and documented introspection. While he travels the world, visiting destinations from the Amazon to Mount Kilimanjaro, McCarthy is wondering what in him leads him to keep the people he loves at a distance. That’s the short version. Set against exotic backdrops most of us will never visit, this is a man trying to figure himself out, and having the courage to write it down; that the man is famous is of no consequence.

Beyond his book, I encourage you to visit McCarthy’s website and sample some of the articles he’s written. He is certainly a gifted writer. This excerpt is from “Courting Vienna”, an article in The National Geographic Traveler.

“Despite her sensible shoes, her granite-stern features reveal a constant, low-level strain. She is well past 50— perhaps well past 60. Her arms sag under the weight of her burden; each tray she carries threatens to be her last. But when she breaks into a rare smile, her face lights up with unguarded delight. Her name is Annelies, and she, not Mozart, nor Beethoven, nor even Empress Sissi, has come to embody Vienna for me.

Annelies works as a waitress at Café Sperl, on Gumpendorfer Strasse. The Sperl has become my base, Annelies my anchor.” 

One Response to “Busy Brat-Packers”

  1. Annemarie Says:

    I read Rob Lowe’s memoir last winter, and I must confess it rekindled an old teenage crush. Such an interesting life, and such a nice guy! I guess my taste in men remains the same. Somehow, that seems somewhat reassuring…

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