Finding My Voice by Diane Rehm

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Synopsis

In Finding My Voice, the nationally acclaimed public radio host Diane Rehm tells the story of her remarkable life -- a story in three acts. First, her childhood: She was raised in a traditional Christian Arab household -- her parents were immigrants from the Near East who had a grocery store in Washington, D.C. It was a household dominated by rigor and fear, and Rehm's account of her mother's emotional and physical abuse is chilling. Her young girl's intelligence and energy helped her survive, though the cost to her self-esteem was substantial. After a brief early marriage and divorce, she embarked on a second marriage, to John Rehm -- a marriage rockier than many but one that has endured and flourished, and in which they have happily raised their two children.

Then, in her thirties, as she found her life as a housewife/mother starting to push her into depression, Rehm began by a stroke of good fortune to volunteer at WAMU-FM, then a small public radio station in Washington, and found that she loved radio and was good at it. She had found her métier. Six years later she had her own show, hosting politicians, artists, writers, musicians, and scientists, including Hillary Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Carl Sagan, Francis Crick, Salman Rushdie, and Norman Mailer, among thousands of others. Twenty years after she began, her talk show is distributed nationally by National Public Radio (NPR) and reaches more than 700,000 listeners each week. Rehm's knowledge of her medium is extensive. Her account of her career is important for what it tells us about the growth of talk radio and about her ability to use that medium to create a straightforward, honest dialogue with her guests and callers throughout the nation.

Finally, Finding My Voice recounts Rehm's recent frightening battle with a rare neurological disorder, spasmodic dysphonia (SD), a condition that "creates a strangled hoarseness [and] fills [her] voice with tremors." A radio broadcaster's nightmare, the loss of her voice took her off the air for an extended period of time and into a frantic -- and successful -- search for treatment. As she has with other trials in her life, Rehm has faced this ongoing struggle with fortitude, insight, and pluck. This is a fascinating story by a courageous and resourceful American woman.
 

About Diane Rehm

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Diane Rehm has hosted "The Diane Rehm Show" on WAMU 88.5 FM in Washington, D.C., since 1979. The program, described by Newsweek as one of the most interesting talk programs in the country, is broadcast live weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon EST. Currently it is broadcast to approximately sixty cities across the country, as well as internationally by the Armed Forces Radio Network. In addition to hosting her own program, Rehm was a correspondent for the PBS series "Modern Maturity," and was host of AARP's "Primetime." She is a member of the board of the PEN/Faulkner Award Foundation and serves on the board of trustees of Western Maryland College. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
 
Published August 24, 1999 by Knopf. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Now 62, she anticipates that an aging population “will welcome more mature voices on the air.” Though Rehm attributes her present emotional well-being and professional success largely to years of therapy, credit must be given to her sheer determination and intellectual vigor, readily evident here.

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Publishers Weekly

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In a curiously unemotional account of a life rich in contradictions, the host of the nationally syndicated Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio may leave readers wanting more. The child of a beaut

Aug 02 1999 | Read Full Review of Finding My Voice

Publishers Weekly

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In a curiously unemotional account of a life rich in contradictions, the host of the nationally syndicated Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio may leave readers wanting more.

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