Barbra Streisand reveals Jackie Kennedy wanted to edit her memoir

The Grammy Award-winning Broadway singer, 79, has almost finished her book

Nadja Sayej
Thursday 12 August 2021 15:35
Streisand returns home

Barbra Streisand is finally completing her memoir, after spending years working on it.

Appearing onThe Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on 10 August, the artist revealed that she was initially offered the opportunity to work with former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who was married to 35th US president John F. Kennedy, on the book.

After her time in the White House from 1961 to 1963, Kennedy Onassis became a book editor at Viking Press in New York City in 1975.

She then worked as a book editor at Doubleday book publishing house for 16 years, where she edited many celebrity memoirs, including Michael Jackson’s bestselling memoir Moonwalk, released 1988.

During this time, Kennedy Onassis also worked on the autobiographies of fashion curator Diana Vreeland, singer Carly Simon and novelist Dorothy West.

Diana Ross, Frank Sinatra and Oliver Stone were some of the celebrities who declined to publish memoirs with her.

“In 1984, Jackie Kennedy came to me and said, ‘I’d love to be the editor of your book at Doubleday,” Streisand recalled. “We had tea, and she was just so lovely. But I wasn’t ready to do that then.”

Kennedy Onassis passed away from non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 1994, aged 64.

Streisand first started writing her memoir in 1999. After touring the world in the early 2000s, she resumed writing in 2008. Today, she has written over 800 pages of her memoir, some of which was written during the pandemic, she said.

“Fortunately, the pandemic helped me finish the book, or I’m almost finished,” she told Fallon. “I’ve written 824 pages, and I still have the little epilogue to do. And you know, interesting, my favourite number — because I was born on the 24th — is 24. This book is now 824 pages.”

Streisand’s latest album, Release Me 2, is out now. Read The Independent’s review here.

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