Daughter Finds Light in Bernstein’s Shadow

By Jonathan Kirsch - Jewish Journal
July 11, 2018

On the cover of “Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein” (Harper), we see a photograph of two people, one of them iconic and one whom most of us have never seen before.  There’s Leonard Bernstein, handsome and commanding, a conductor’s baton in his right hand, a wedding ring on his extended left hand. And then there’s a little girl seated in front of him as he puts an orchestra through its paces. She looks exquisitely bemused by all the goings-on around her. 

The girl is Jamie Bernstein, and she’s the “Famous Father Girl,” as she was dubbed by a classmate when she was in second grade. Although she characterizes the time and place of her childhood as “a Bernstein-heavy universe,” the story she tells is as much about herself and her family circle as it is about her famous father.  

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Jamie Bernstein