Bette Midler Still in the Adventures of 19th-Century Novelists

Out of all the characters you have played in different media, which character did you find richest – the newest?

I’ve played a number of characters who started their lives as characters in actual novels, but I guess I’ll have to go with CC Bloom in “Beeches.” I know it’s sentimental, and yet the period of years, the ups and downs, this relationship, Mayim Bialik and Barbara Hershey’s stellar performances – you can’t deny it, definitely struck a chord.

Which character in literature would you like to play the most?

Any woman of a certain age in anything by Shakespeare, Dickens, Congrave, Dryden or Sheridan.

What was the last book you read that made you laugh?

“I know why the captive bird sings.” The church scene, where a woman finds a spirit and rushes past the pastor, is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.

What is the last book that made you cry?

“I know why the captive bird sings.”

On which topic do you want to write more authors?

Race and rebuild. Impeachment Andrew Johnson’s villainy should be common sense, but it isn’t. Our children should be made aware that we are still living with the consequences of Reconstruction. I am 75 years old, and this was news to me.

What genres do you particularly enjoy reading? And what do you avoid?

I read memoirs, diaries and biographies. James Beard’s memoir, “Delights and Prejudice,” Alex Haley’s “Malcolm X” made a huge impact on me, Andre Agassi’s memoir was brilliant. “History”, by the greatest actor of them all, Bob Dylan, is surprising, the “life” of Keith Richards? I went out the next day and bought a guitar. “Em Train” by Patty Smith, “This Wheels on Fire” by Levon Helm, the Aretha books by David Ritz, “Bodies of Water” by Rosanne Cash, the autobiography of Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber, “Hound Dog” are both great. The Duc de St. Simon, three volumes at the court of Louis XIV, is splendid. I recently received a copy of the unedited diary of Chips Channon, YIKES. Still, my favorite is Quincy Troop’s book with Miles Davis, “Miles: The Autobiography.” And I’m going to go on the record to say that I adored Mariah Carey’s autobiography, “The Meaning of Maria.” He sent it to me with a box of Kleenex. I have never, ever read horror.

Leave a Reply