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Iconic comedian Burnett lost her oldest daughter Carrie Hamilton to cancer in 2002 when Carrie was only 38. Burnett touched on her loss briefly in her second memoir, This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection, but here she gives a heartfelt tribute to a daughter who fought addiction to become a successful actress, singer, and writer. Burnett's diary entries and the emails between mother and daughter as Hamilton recovered and matured capture a loving relationship. Included in this memoir is the draft of a book Carrie was working on before her death, about a woman and a mysterious cowboy who take a road trip to see Graceland. Hamilton took this journey herself to explore her mother's roots in Louisiana and Arkansas, and the trip is chronicled through emails to her mother that reveal Hamilton's intelligence, kindness, and love of life, which makes her lost battle against cancer all the more poignant. She had asked Burnett to finish her book for her. While Burnett was unable to do that, she includes Hamilton's writings here in their entirety. VERDICT A highly recommended mother's tribute that will bring tears to most readers' eyes.-Rosellen Brewer, Sno-Isle Libs., Marysville, WA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Beloved comic actress and author Burnett has penned a poignant tribute to her late daughter, Carrie Hamilton. Pulling no punches, Burnett details Carrie's youthful struggles with drug addiction and her long, hard journey through rehab and beyond. After successfully emerging from the dark years, Hamilton forged a successful, independent career for herself as both an actress and a writer. Before she died at age 38 of lung cancer, she asked her mother to complete Sunrise to Memphis, the story she had been working on before her illness exacted its final toll. Unable to do so, Burnett came up with an alternative, fashioning an intimate portrait of a sometimes challenging, always loving mother-daughter relationship by combining correspondence from Carrie with her own anecdotes and memories. As a bonus, Burnett provides the unfinished Sunrise to Memphis a fitting tribute to her talented daughter's creative life.--Flanagan, Margaret Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Born in 1963, Burnett's eldest daughter, Carrie Hamilton, was an actress and playwright beginning to establish a name for herself when she died of lung cancer at age 38, in January 2002. In this nostalgic look back at Hamilton's short life and last work-in-progress, Burnett (One More Time) portrays a loving daughter who was nonetheless difficult during her adolescent years when she was abusing drugs heavily and spent several stints in rehab, before emerging as a gifted actress who landed a plum role as Maureen in the national tour of Rent. Burnett inserts into her chronological narrative excerpts from her own diary entries, for example during the fraught time when she and her then husband, Joe Hamilton, were beginning to suspect that their 15-year-old daughter was on drugs, and later e-mails and faxes exchanged between mother and daughter over her last years, when Hamilton was living in an isolated cabin by herself in Gunnison, Colo., and sending periodic installments to a story she was writing. "Sunrise in Memphis" related a whimsical road trip to Graceland, Tenn., by the 23-year-old hard-drinking Kate and a sweet, gentlemanly cowboy called F.M.; the story prompted Hamilton to take off on a real-life road trip through the South, sending impressionistic dispatches to Burnett. "Sunrise in Memphis" remained unfinished, but appears at the end of this poignant, piecemeal work. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.