Memoirs have the power to move us, connect with us and allow us to share life changing experiences with people we’d otherwise never have the chance to know. It’s been a while since we’ve had a Memoir Monday, but this week our intern Sarah is excited to share this special title with you.
I can’t believe how lucky I am: one of my first assignments as Simon & Schuster Canada’s new intern was to read an advance reader’s copy of Cyndi Lauper’s memoir! If my childhood had a soundtrack, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “Good Enough” (The Goonies, anyone?) would most definitely be on it. I can’t even remember how many school dances those songs were played at, but it was enough that now, whenever I hear either, I can’t help smiling. I’ve naturally (and somewhat biasedly, I suppose) always thought of Cyndi Lauper as happy-go-lucky, as bright and awesome as the outfits she wears in her ‘80s music videos. But starting with the first sentence (“I left home at seventeen”), Lauper shares some brutal and ugly truths from her life that has made me respect and admire her so much more–to the point that I’ve already startled a couple of complete strangers on the commute home by asking if they know all about Cyndi Lauper and if not they should read this book (available Sept. 18!).
Reading the book itself is a really neat experience; it feels as though Lauper is talking directly to you, which makes her story that much more compelling. I honestly couldn’t put it down, even though there were some parts that described, um, some more disturbingly realistic aspects of the rockstar lifestyle. What surprised me the most, though, was how much I was able to relate to THE Cyndi Lauper; I had no idea, for example, that her song “Sisters of Avalon” was inspired by one my (and her) favourite books, The Mists of Avalon (which leads me to believe we’d totally be besties in real life). There are such incredibly intimate stories shared in this memoir (from her sexually abusive stepfather to the heartbreaking inspiration behind her fight against AIDS) that I, oddly enough, now feel proud of Cyndi, in the way that only a friend or family member usually does. But I also think that that’s what makes Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir so great and so readable: by the end of the book, I really did feel like I was listening to someone I really knew and cared about. I was more than a little sad when I finished reading her story. Cyndi Lauper is no longer just a cool celebrity to me; she’s a role model, and someone that I want to hear from again.
Keep rocking on, Cyndi. You’re awesome, and so is your book.