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Melinda and Sandy

Andrew O’Hagan: Oprah, 4 November 2010

Oprah: A Biography 
by Kitty Kelley.
Crown, 544 pp., £19.50, April 2010, 978 0 307 39486 6
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... little Oprah couldn’t have known how much she would come to hate that statement. But Kitty Kelley, giant-killer, stalker of regrets, was born to tell her. In doing so, she draws on the deep reservoirs of self-pity and victimology that Oprah has been wallowing in for 25 years. The two of them were made for each other, with their love of ...

Downsize, Your Majesty

David Cannadine, 16 October 1997

The Royals 
by Kitty Kelley.
Warner, 547 pp., $27, September 1997, 0 446 51712 7
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... and contingent than is often allowed. Such complexities and contingencies are completely lost on Kitty Kelley, whose concern is merely to expose the royal family’s ‘secrets of alcoholism, drug addiction, epilepsy, insanity, homosexuality, bisexuality, adultery, infidelity and illegitimacy’ over the years since George V changed the House of ...

At least they paid their taxes

Linda Colley, 25 July 1991

Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorised Biography 
by Kitty Kelley.
Bantam, 532 pp., £16.99, April 1991, 0 593 02450 8
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... On the dust-jacket of this book is a photograph of its author. Kitty Kelley, formerly of Spokane, one-time Lilac Princess at school, millionaire biographer of Jacqueline Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra, looks not all that different from her current subject. There is the same bright, taut face which a good surgical lift always ensures, the same immaculately-dyed and coiffeured hair, the same fixed smile exhibiting the kind of teeth that only an American orthodontist can fix, the same chunky gold jewellery and expensive clothes overlaying a diet-starved body, and the same clawed, no longer young hands about which nothing can be done whatsoever ...

Sorrows of a Polygamist

Mark Ford: Ted Hughes in His Cage, 17 March 2016

Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life 
by Jonathan Bate.
William Collins, 662 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 00 811822 8
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... errors and penchant for ‘tasteless speculation’. Its style and approach, it’s true, bring Kitty Kelley to mind more often than Richard Ellmann: it is aimed squarely at an audience conceived as wanting its close readings of ‘Pike’ and ‘The Thought-Fox’ leavened by details of Hughes’s ‘vigorous’ love-making, and likely to be impressed ...


Ian Penman, 2 July 2015

Sinatra: London 
Universal, 3 CDs and 1 DVD, £40, November 2014Show More
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... subtly hierarchical class system in America might consider lines such as the following, quoted by Kitty Kelley in her 1986 no-turn-left-unstoned Sinatra biography/exposé, His Way. In 1943, a writer for the New Republic wrote of Sinatra’s Paramount coup: ‘Nearly all the bobby-soxers whom I saw … gave every appearance of being children of the ...

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