On the Bookshelf

Interesting Reading for Lucyfans

The following article is reprinted from The New York Post (Page Six) of October 4, 2001. Not only does Liz love Lucy -- she loves Lee Tannen's new book!


'AM I HAPPY? No, not yet ... I will be. I've been humiliated. That's not easy for a woman." So the great, incomparable Lucille Ball told TV Guide back in 1960. This was when the reigning queen of comedy was seeking a divorce from the love of her life, Desi Arnaz.

Lee Tannen was a mere boy of 9 years at this time, but he would soon embark on a friendship with Lucy that would last until her death in 1989. Now he has written a book entirely from his memories of this "sometimes difficult" star. When I picked up "I Loved Lucy," I felt inclined to dismiss it. Reading it, I realized Lee has given us the story of the untold Lucy years - what happened to this incredibly famous woman as she inevitably descended from the peak of her success and into an eccentric and sometimes lonely later life.

This book tells us so much more than anyone else about Lucille Ball. It has charm and sadness and funny anecdotes and a lot of perception. One of the most poignant things in the book is what Lucy said to Lee as they were traveling on a plane near the end of her days. He asked her how she related to her fame.

Lucy: "I once read an article that said I'm known in 99 percent of the households in America. And I'm looking down at all these lights and I'm thinking that if I rang any one of those doorbells, they would invite me in. When I first came to New York in the late '20s nobody knew who I was, and nobody invited me in, and I had to save my nickels for tea. And now everybody wants to give me everything for nothing." Then she sighed and closed her eyes.

Read this St. Martin's book as a special treat to yourself if ever you loved Lucy.

© 2001 by New York Post
A Division of NYP Holdings, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

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Compilation produced by Thomas J. Watson
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