Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Review: Making a Scene, by Constance Wu


Making a Scene, by Constance Wu. Scribner, 2022. Memoir.

You may know Constance Wu from the show Fresh Off the Boat or the movie Crazy Rich Asians (2018) where she played appealing heroine Rachel Chu. Her memoir-in-essays covers her childhood, acting career and romantic relationships. Chatty and approachable, she talks about her personal and professional life in tones that manage to be breezy, direct and vulnerable. 

She grew up in Virginia and moved to New York and Los Angeles to pursue acting; a theater kid from day one or so it seems, the stage was where she could have her big feelings, where she didn't have to hold back or play nice. When she starting acting on television she became embroiled in behind the scenes politics and relationships and navigating those alongside her personal life forms the basis for most of the book. At the beginning and then at the end we hear more about her family- her sisters, especially the sister closest in age to herself, and her parents, especially her mother. 

I enjoyed Making a Scene and found it to be both a quick read and a pretty immersive one. The chapters are short and the book covers a lot of ground, making it a good choice for the coffeeshop or the beach bag. I bet it would be great on audio as well. She talks about difficult subjects, including rape and sexual harassment and the various compromises women make to be people in the world as well as her own delusions and failings, with a tone that is both accessible and relatable. As celebrity memoirs go this is one to enjoy on several levels and worth your time.

FTC: I received an advance copy from the publisher for Indie Next consideration.

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