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Born with Teeth

Born with Teeth

by Kate Mulgrew


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Raised by unconventional Irish Catholics who knew "how to drink, how to dance, how to talk, and how to stir up the devil," Kate Mulgrew grew up with poetry and drama in her bones. But in her mother, a would-be artist burdened by the endless arrival of new babies, young Kate saw the consequences of a dream deferred.

Determined to pursue her own no matter the cost, at 18 she left her small Midwestern town for New York, where, studying with the legendary Stella Adler, she learned the lesson that would define her as an actress: "Use it," Adler told her. Whatever disappointment, pain, or anger life throws in your path, channel it into the work.

It was a lesson she would need. At twenty-two, just as her career was taking off, she became pregnant and gave birth to a daughter. Having already signed the adoption papers, she was allowed only a fleeting glimpse of her child. As her star continued to rise, her life became increasingly demanding and fulfilling, a whirlwind of passionate love affairs, life-saving friendships, and bone-crunching work. Through it all, Mulgrew remained haunted by the loss of her daughter, until, two decades later, she found the courage to face the past and step into the most challenging role of her life, both on and off screen.

We know Kate Mulgrew for the strong women she's played — Captain Janeway on Star Trek ; the tough-as-nails "Red" on Orange is the New Black. Now, we meet the most inspiring and memorable character of all: herself. By turns irreverent and soulful, laugh-out-loud funny and heart-piercingly sad, Born with Teeth is the breathtaking memoir of a woman who dares to live life to the fullest, on her own terms.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594730910
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 04/14/2015
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Kate Mulgrew is an American actress noted for her roles as Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, Mary Ryan on Ryan's Hope, and, most recently, Galina "Red" Reznikov on Orange Is the New Black. She has performed in numerous television shows, theater productions, and movies. She is the winner of a Golden Satellite Award, a Saturn Award, and an Obie Award and has been nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy.

Table of Contents

List of Photographs ix

Langworthy Avenue 3

Derby Grange 12

Tessie 27

Actress 37

Coming of Age 50

On the Spears 60

This Cup 70

Deliverance 84

Ransom 92

Skating 94

On Thin Ice 105

La Donna è Mobile 112

Sidesaddle 120

Seeking Absolution 130

One Last Time 138

Cut 149

The Handshake 153

The Games We Played 157

On Our Way Home 166

Foxboro Drive 181

Less Traveled By 195

Irish Mist 212

We Begin 221

The Audition 240

Now, Voyager 251

Rubik's Cube 265

Catalyst 270

You Can See the Moon, but the Moon Can't See You 275

Reclamation 283

You Can See the Moon 300

Acknowledgments 305

What People are Saying About This

author of A GIRL NAMED ZIPPY - Haven Kimmel

"The perfectly titled Born With Teeth is a moving, artful memoir. Kate Mulgrew is a fierce and brilliant talent, both on the stage and on the page, and I'm filled with admiration for this wonderful book."

author of RUNNING WITH SCISSORS - Augusten Burroughs

"I was blindsided by the fierce intensity, intelligence and grace of this memoir. Born With Teeth is gorgeously written, breathtakingly honest and impossible to put down."

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Born with Teeth: A Memoir 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
MarinaNJ More than 1 year ago
Just slightly over a month ago, in February, I had a great opportunity to read an advanced reading copy of Kate Mulgrew's new memoir Born With Teeth. To say that I was impressed by it is to say nothing. I was completely floored. I admit that I had expected it to be well-written, having heard Ms. Mulgrew speak on multiple occasions at various events. And, being a fan, I could guess at some of the themes she would be certainly discussing in the book. What I did not anticipate was just how powerfully and beautifully her eloquence and intelligence translated into the written word. This is an excellent read even if you do not have emotional or intellectual attachment to her or to the characters she played. Very aptly titled Born With Teeth is an intensely honest memoir written by an extraordinary and yet very human individual. Within its pages, Ms. Mulgrew provides an exceptionally personal glimpse into some the crucial events of her fascinating and complicated life. This book will fill you with admiration for her strength, passion and tremendous courage.
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
I was very excited when I heard that actress Kate Mulgrew had written a memoir, Born With Teeth. I have been a big fan of her since her days as Mary Ryan on the ABC soap Ryan's Hope, through her groundbreaking role as Capt. Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, and in her current role as tough and literate inmate Red on Orange Is The New Black. (Red always has a book with her.) She begins her honest, brilliant, heartbreaking memoir by talking about her large Irish Catholic family. Jiki and Ace, as her parents were called, lived in Iowa, and had a typically large brood of children. They lost two of their daughters, one to SIDS, whom four year-old Kate mistakenly believed she had killed, and a teenage daughter who died a slow, painful death. Kate's mother was a steely, artistic, not very affectionate woman who loved books. Books were important to the Mulgrew family, and when Kate decided she wanted to be a poet because she was chosen to read her poem at a school assembly, her mother convinced her to read The White Cliffs of Dover after she read her poems, and when the nuns sobbed during her Kate's rendition, she knew she had found her calling: acting. Born With Teeth recounts the important events and people in Kate Mulgrew's life. She stated at an appearance to launch her book that it "summed up everything that defined me", and that may be the best way to describe this stunningly written book. If you are looking for a run-of-the-mill celebrity biography, look elsewhere. Fans of Ryan's Hope may be disappointed that there is no juicy backstage gossip here. Only producer Claire Labine and Nancy Addison (Jillian Coleridge) are mentioned, and that is because they were good friends of Mulgrew. When Mulgrew was working on Ryan's Hope and just in her early 20s, she became pregnant. She came to the agonizing decision to give her baby up for adoption, and that decision changed and colored her entire life. Mulgrew worked hard at her craft, and the stage was her first love, even though she had huge success on TV. The chapters on working on Mrs. Columbo (and how she got that job after turning it down)  and Star Trek: Voyager give an insider's look at the incredibly long days and hard work it takes to be a major TV actress. She wasn't as lucky in love though. After meeting a wealthy Italian man and giving up her career to be with him, she fell in love with a man in Seattle who worked on the play in which she was cast. The love of her life came later, in Ireland, where she met a man for whom she fell head-over-heels in love. Mulgrew and her husband had two sons in two years, and trying to be a working mother and spend time with her children was a struggle, one that many women will be able to relate to. There is a chapter where she takes her sons to the Star Trek premiere,and their behavior embarrasses her, that will make any mother cringe. Born With Teeth is so beautifully written, and so honest. Mulgrew doesn't shy away from her mistakes and her flaws. She comes from an Irish family, where stoicism was the watchword, so this makes it even more remarkable. She is not afraid to portray her warts, whether as a woman or a mother, and I find that refreshing. It feels like each word is so carefully chosen, yet it also feels like it sprang full-blown from her head, ready to publish. The Irish are known for their eloquence, and Mulgrew clearly inherited that from her ancestors. I know we will see her again as an actress (season three of Orange is The New Black will be available on Netflix on June 12 and season 4 will be filming soon), I hope that we will hear again soon from author Kate Mulgrew as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once I received this book, I was unable to pit it down. I have admired Ms. Mulgrew for many years. She is as amazing to listen to as she is to watch. If you are looking for Hollywood gossip, don't look here. That has never been her style.This is a memior and she tells about her life. She tells about her excentric parents whom she loved dearly. She recalls the loss of two sisters and how that affected her life. She recounts the ways she tried to find true love. She tells about her first marriage which wasn't very healthy and finding love again as she had never known. She recalls the circumstanses that lead to the birth, adoption, and finally the 20 year search for her child. She retells the details of her attack and rape and miscarriage that nearly killed her. She also speaks of travels to Italy and Ireland. She tells of the work she did on stage and small screen. She recounts the first few years of Star Trek Voyager, the responsibilty of being the first female captain to carry a series and balancing being a single mother of two young boys. She also recalls what it was like to realize something was wrong with her mother as her mother showed the earliest signs of her illness. Reading her memior was like reading a letter from a beloved friend. She left ending open for a sequel which I sincerely hope she does.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such an inspiring and delightful read. I was drawn in within the first few pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt as if I was with her on every adventure of her life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really sheds light on an hard won life and career with so much done by age 24 with so much more after. Worth your time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a long time fan of Kate Mulgrew, I looked forward to reading this. I was pleasantly surprised at how well written and truly entertaining are the words of her heart-felt memoir. ~*~LEB~*~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kate Mulgrew's writing is eloquent and enjoyable to read. She is a wonderful story teller and a fascinating individual. The memoir captured my attention right from the beginning. I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
MelloLisa More than 1 year ago
Kate's writing style draws you in and makes you feel like she's talking to you. Loved the honesty and humor with which she tells her story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautifully and heartwarming story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read. If you like biographies, this is a good one. Recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I genuinely wanted to give this book five stars, but in clear conscience, I can't. Before I read this book, I had some misgivings, but hoped that I was to be in error as to what my fears were----I wasn't.... Let me start off saying that Miss Mulgrew needs to get it through her "classically trained theater" head that, as of this writing, she is best known for two things in her career (very few know of both, but I am one of the lucky ones that do): one, as the heroine Mary Ryan in "Ryan's Hope," and, two, as Captain Kathryn Janeway on "Star Trek: Voyager." Yes, she is part of the cast of "Orange is the New Black," but (once again, as of this writing) that show has not even begun to equal what the aforementioned previous two shows have. RE: her career. So, in that vein, let me say that I am sorely disappointed that she all but ignored her entire tenor in "RH." She mentions being hired, being great friends with Claire Labine and the late Nancy Addison (who portrayed Jillian Coleridge, opposite Mulgrew's Mary Ryan) then just segues into leaving the show, and that's it, period. She never stated why she left, how she felt about not playing Mary Ryan, and utterly and completely ignored her three return stints to the show, et al, as if they never happened. It is painfully obvious that she considered "RH" to be "below her" in terms of acting hierarchy (even though she had won more awards as Mary Ryan than ANY other character in her career). Shameful. Would have loved some anecdotes RE: powerhouses like Helen Gallagher, et al. Mulgrew would still be an unknown in a sea of unknowns in her vaunted New York if it weren't for "RH." She spent more time talking about the crappy series' "Mrs. Columbo" and "Heartbeats" than the groundbreaking "RH" - huh? In the book it was obvious that Nancy Addison was her best friend, but other than a flippant remark about her dying, absolutely nothing was said about how that death affected her (NA died in 2002). As well as ignoring "RH," Miss Mulgrew completely and utter glosses over any and all tensions that might have affected Star Trek: Voyager when Jennifer Lien (who played the alien Ocampa, Kes) was fired and Jeri Ryan (who played half-human, half-Borg, Anika Hansen/07 of 09) was hired. Neither actresses are even mentioned (granted, I didn't want a salacious retelling of the widely reported problems the show had during this transition, but a minor acknowledgment would have been nice. Everything is wholly peaches & cream with Voyager, and nothing is mentioned, not even in a sotto voce manner, about that rough transition in between Seasons 03 and 04). Also, in Miss Mulgrew's misguided hubris, she claims to be the very first female Captain, ever, in Star Trek history - wrong - that would have been the late Madge Sinclair's female Captain of the Saratoga in "Star Trek IV: The Voyager Home." A bit of a nitpick, I realize, but I had to make that correction (Captain Erika Hernandez in " Star Trek: Enterprise" doesn't count because "Enterprise" aired after Voyager left the airwaves and was many, many years after Star Trek IV). The book is riddled with gaps in between chapters that are never explained and there are situations mentioned that are nebulous, at best for the reader, as well as having an ending that is absolutely a big "FU" to the reader----it made no sense and, literally, just stopped. Read it, and you'll see. I am so disappointed with this book, to say the least....."¿