#BookClubBesties Part Swan, Part Goose is out in paperback!

Swoosie Kurtz's memoir Part Swan, Part Goose is out in paperback this week, and I'm lobbying book clubs to read it. We Baby Boomers need to talk about how we relate to our aging parents, and Swoosie did that with huge heart, soul and wit in this book, candidly discussing things that have gone wrong and what she and her mom have gotten enormously right.

Swoosie has been a Broadway icon since the 1970s--a Tony, Emmy and Obie winner--and a lot of people love her from the family television drama Sisters in the early 1990s. These days Swoosie's slaying audiences weekly as Melissa McCarthy's mom on Mike & Molly, and she talks about all that in this book, but her main gig is caring for her 99 year old mom, author Margo Kurtz, and that's the heart of the story.

Margo is a stitch and a poet, still tenacious and vivacious, but living in a world of her own. Getting to know her was one of the great perks of working with Swoosie on this memoir. Swoosie was on a mission to breathe new life into Margo's memoir, My Rival, the Sky, published by Putnam in 1945 and rereleased as an ebook by Perigee last year.

Swoosie and I wove excerpts from Margo's book throughout Part Swan, Part Goose, so readers get to know Margo up close and experience some of her life with Swoosie's larger than life father, Col. Frank Kurtz, the most decorated fighter pilot of WWII. What emerges is the story of an extraordinary family and how they formed a fortress of love and support around each other in the best and worst of times.

I'm incredibly proud of what Swoosie accomplished here and thrilled that I got to help her. This book was a gift in my life as I cared for my mom, who was dying of Alzheimer's while Swoosie and I were working together. I think it'll be a gift to a lot of people. But (as they say on Reading Rainbow) you don't have to take my word for it!

“Part Swan, Part Goose is a brave and riveting book about family, fame, theater and life. It is witty, wise and irresistible. I loved it." —Tom Brokaw

"...spontaneous, irreverent but always kind, independent yet deeply rooted to her family. Swoosie has put her heart and her humor into these pages.” —Melissa McCarthy

“I laughed and cried (sometimes at the same time) reading this extraordinary story... Her observations about love and loss had me dog-earing several pages to re-read again and again.” —Carol Burnett

"...a remarkable journal about Kurtz’s extremely close relationship with her parents...a compelling saga about her recent journey as a loving caregiver for her mother as she’s slipped into depths of dementia." —Chicago Sun Times

“I thought I’d browse (Part Swan, Part Goose) and write a quick column. I couldn’t browse. Swoosie kept dragging me in with another anecdote, and she writes in a freewheeling style... yet it all makes perfect sense. The piece of her heart left on the pages is impossible not to love.” —Bob Fischbach, Omaha World-Herald

Part Swan, Part Goose: An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work and Family is indeed uncommon. Unlike some show business memoirs, it’s neither a scandalous tell-all, nor an exercise in self-aggrandizement. Instead, it’s a candid, engaging look at Kurtz’s life and work, and especially her relationship with the two most important people in her life: her parents, Frank and Margo Kurtz.” —Trudy Ring, SheWired

“Filled with entertaining stories, gut-wrenching experiences, and touching memories, actress Swoosie Kurtz’ thoughtful memoir, Part Swan, Part Goose, celebrates her loving parents while documenting the formative events that shaped her stellar acting career.” —Tolucan Times

“Don't miss this book of collected praise for parents who had it all together. ...There is not a saccharine note in this delightful memoir.” —Liz Smith

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