Is That a Gun in Your Pocket? by Rachel Abramowitz
Women's Experience of Power in Hollywood

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Synopsis


"Women and power-perhaps no other confluence of subjects has launched as many myths, or stirred as much gossip."

Eight years ago, a remarkably talented reporter named Rachel Abramowitz began interviewing the women of Hollywood to, in her words, "puncture the mythology and to circumvent the silence" of this rarefied world. At the time, women directors, agents, producers and studio executives made up only a tiny minority of the industry. Abramowitz wanted to find out what had allowed this handful of women to infiltrate the male-dominated world of moviemaking-and what was keeping other women out. Is That a Gun in Your Pocket? is a vibrant social history that brings to light the previously untold saga of the rise of women in Hollywood over the past forty years.
        
In these pages, some of the most famous, most powerful, and most outrageous members of the film industry go on record with their war stories. From superstar actors to independent directors, women in all arenas of the moviemaking business opened up to Abramowitz. Their firsthand tales of jealousy, struggle, sexism, and success make for a fascinating behind-the-cameras look at what it is really like to be a woman in Hollywood.
        
Abramowitz's insight and novelistic style make for a fantastic romp through every major studio, every agency, and hundreds of sets, back lots, and dressing rooms. Here, in their own candid and pro-vocative words, are Jodie Foster, Penny Marshall, Dawn Steel, Sue Mengers, Sherry Lansing, Polly Platt, Barbra Streisand, Paula Weinstein, Nora Ephron, Carrie Fisher, Meryl Streep, Jane Campion, Amy Heckerling, Callie Khouri, Joan Tewkesbury, and many others. Together they form a community of friends, colleagues, and competitors that constitutes one of the most riveting casts you're likely to find in fiction or nonfiction.

Woven throughout the individual dramas is a strikingly original analysis of the films of the last four decades that fairly and accurately shows the difficulty women have faced in getting their stories on screen. With telling details from the insiders them-selves, Abramowitz reveals the almost reflexive sexism that exists in Hollywood and traces how the male-dominated atmosphere influences what is seen by moviegoers around the world.

Inspiring, scandalous, poignant, and hilarious, this is both a landmark look at the evolution of women's place in filmmaking and a glimpse inside one of the most powerful industries in American culture.
 

About Rachel Abramowitz

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Rachel Abramowitz has covered Hollywood for the last decade, primarily for Premiere magazine. Her work has also appeared in Mirabella and The New York Times Magazine. She graduated from Yale and lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and son.
 
Published January 1, 2000 by Random House Inc, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A.. 512 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Humor & Entertainment, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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We see, for example, Callie Khouri's creation of Thelma and Louise and Carrie Fisher's odyssey from actress to script doctor, as well as snapshots from the long careers of such Hollywood mainstays as writer Nora Ephron, agent Sue Mengers, and director Elaine May. These topics provide only a brief...

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Publishers Weekly

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Despite her provocative title, Premiere senior writer Abramowitz's look at some of Hollywood's female players (including Paramount chief Sherry Lansing, writer/director Nora Ephron and actor/director Jodie Foster) turns out to be a rather scattershot account that only glances its target.

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