Please Excuse My Daughter

Julie Klam
  • Review
By – January 27, 2012
Julie Klam’s mem­oir reads like wit­ty diary entries strung togeth­er from events in her life. From vis­it­ing her grand­pa in Flori­da with her broth­er to her par­ents’ Low­er East Side begin­nings, their move to Riverdale, White Plains, and final­ly the home­stead in Bed­ford, she gives us a thin back­drop of her cul­tur­al set­ting. She feels her moth­er an accom­plice in her aca­d­e­m­ic fail­ures, yet her anal­o­gy of jump rope in ele­men­tary school describ­ing the real good jump rop­er who would walk up to the spin­ning rope sort of rock­ing back and forth with their hands up to get the rhythm and then jump in; where­as I stood there and did the ready­ing but the rope was still wait­ing for me when the sun set,” best describes her own pro­gres­sion after mov­ing to New York City and her suc­ces­sive stints at David Let­ter­man, her father’s insur­ance com­pa­ny, and Pop Up Video. It is only after her mar­riage to Paul, her dif­fi­cult preg­nan­cy with Vio­let, and her ensu­ing dire finan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties that she stoops to sell­ing her family’s jew­els and then fig­ures out who she real­ly is and what she’s made of. She blames her lack of self-actu­al­iza­tion on her stereo­typ­i­cal princess” upbring­ing, espe­cial­ly her mother’s shel­ter­ing pres­ence. Yet one thing is cer­tain; with this mem­oir Julie Klam has final­ly jumped in the game with her very own self dep­re­cat­ing wit and description.
Karen J. Hauser received a B.A. in art his­to­ry from Stan­ford. She has worked at var­i­ous muse­ums and at Sothe­by’s and cur­rent­ly does com­mu­nal vol­un­teer work.

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