Jamie Bernstein Reflects on ‘Exuberant’ Father

Marissa Stern - Jewish Exponent
June 27, 2018

When children grow up with famous parents, inquiring minds often want to know: What was it like to grow up with [insert celebrity here]?

Jamie Bernstein has been asked this question a fair amount about her famous composer father, Leonard Bernstein, so she decided to give it a “long and juicier answer” by writing a memoir.

She discussed her new book, Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein, at a talk at the Free Library on June 20 with The Philadelphia Inquirer’s classical music critic and culture writer Peter Dobrin.

“I had a story no one else could tell,” she said in a deep, soothing voice to a moderately full auditorium of Bernstein — both Jamie and Leonard — enthusiasts.

Bernstein, a celebrated concert narrator and radio producer, had thought about writing a memoir for some time anyway, she said. But it seemed the timing was right for the book, which came out June 12, as 2018 marks the centennial year of her father’s birth.

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Jamie Bernstein