An intimate, moving mosaic of art and memoir.



A Tony Award–winning actor explores crafting as therapy.

Foster’s grounded, heartfelt, and family-focused memoir is rooted in the art projects she’s been creating (and selling) since learning how to crochet at 19 during a 1995 national tour with Grease. Each creation has a purpose and is inspired by a specific significant moment. “These hobbies,” she writes, “have literally preserved my sanity through some of the darkest periods of my life….My crafts have helped hold me together and given me a place to pour all of my love or sadness into.” The author hails from a crafting family: Her mother, grandmother, and aunt all knitted, crocheted, and cross-stitched (what she calls her “gateway craft”), and she proudly carries on that tradition in handcrafting items for her adopted daughter as an expression of parental love and to foster a more creative connection. Foster also writes about how she and her brother were both groomed for musical theater groups and aggressively encouraged to perform. Despite garnering immense stage success on Broadway and TV (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes, etc.), the author has struggled, like many of us, with anxiety and other mental health issues. Thankfully for Foster, she discovered the calming salve of crafting, which has given her a consistent, centering source of peace and sanity. Crocheted blankets helped her through a divorce and her mother’s declining health, while colorful sketch work soothed her frustrating attempts to start a biological family with her second husband, screenwriter Ted Griffin. Throughout the narrative’s delicately described episodes, Foster dispenses sage advice and shares cookie recipes, blanket instructions, and the story behind her “graphgan,” which creatively fused her drawings with her crochet career. Foster’s fans will delight in this inspiring story of the multitalented actor’s heights and pitfalls, while crafters will discover newfound purpose, embedded meaning, and shared serendipity in their universal pastime.

An intimate, moving mosaic of art and memoir.

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5387-3428-5

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 22, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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