Filled with entertaining stories, gut-wrenching experiences, and touching memories, actress Swoosie Kurtz’ thoughtful memoir, Part Swan, Part Goose: An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work and Family celebrates her loving parents while documenting the formative events that shaped her stellar acting career. In particular, the book also reveals Kurtz’s seven-year struggle dealing with her mother Margo’s increasing dementia.
Kurtz’s impetus in writing the book was to ensure the re-release of her mother’s riveting 1945 memoir, My Rival, the Sky, while documenting the adventurous and dashing lives of her parents. She uses excerpts from her mother’s book to compare and contrast the distinctly different life choices made by the two women. Kurtz nurtured her craft to achieve great success, while her mother focused on nurturing and raising a family.
From an early age, Kurtz roamed the country performing at aquacades with her handsome, ex-Olympian and highly-decorated airman father, Frank, and posing for photographs with her parents – her best friends. These early performing opportunities helped prepare her for a life in entertainment.
Finally finding a stable home life in Toluca Lake after the family settled there in 1959, Kurtz blossomed as a young actress in Hollywood High School acting classes with respected teacher, John Ingle. Though Kurtz experienced “life fright” dealing with the constant moves and growing list of new schools, acting and playing characters helped free her to learn to live in the moment. As she moves into her life’s “Act Three,” Kurtz can’t wait to see where life takes her.
Kurtz calls Part Swan, Part Goose, “Her most creative opportunity in years,” an opportunity for self-excavation and therapy, especially as she deals with her mother’s illness. She hopes the book makes people, “Laugh, cry, and gasp,” as well as serve as a lighthouse for those dealing with the struggles of dementia.
Swoosie Kurtz’s Part Swan, Part Goose: An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work and Family is available at major bookstores and at Amazon and costs $25.