indexThe first‐ever biography of one of the most colorful show‐biz figures of the 1970s and ’80s. Sue Mengers represented many of the era’s biggest movie stars – Barbra Streisand, Gene Hackman, Ryan O’Neal, Ali MacGraw, Candice Bergen, Jacqueline Bisset, Cybill Shepherd, Michael Caine, Tuesday Weld, Nick Nolte, Burt Reynolds, Faye Dunaway, Christopher Walken, among others – and was responsible for getting many of their best films into production. For his book, Brian Kellow has interviewed over 200 of Mengers’s clients, colleagues and friends. Can I Go Now? brings back one of Hollywood’s most exciting eras alive. Published by Viking.

Review excerpts:

“Even the brightest star is occasionally eclipsed by a moon. Sue Mengers was a moon.… Kellow is the first to pull back the caftan and consider what really made Mengers Mengers. He has made a specialty of forceful showbiz women – previous subjects include Pauline Kael and Ethel Merman – and she fits easily into that pantheon. Mengers came of age as moving pictures, and seemingly the world, burst into Technicolor. Kellow vividly renders this time of alliterative rat‐a‐tat names begat of the typewriter – Boaty Boatwright, Freddie Fields, Lionel Larner, Maynard Morris – and restaurants that treated regulars like family: Downey’s and Lindy’s and Sardi’s.… [a] reflective and soulful book.” — Alexandra Jacobs, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

“Picture Joan Rivers with less of a filter, bulldozer setting ramped up to 12, shpritzing venom alongside comic abuse. Imagine that, and you’ll start to get an idea of the lioness named Sue Mengers. [Kellow’s] book is immensely readable and full of dish.” — Scott Eyman, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Mengers was the first woman to amass the sort of power she did, representing Barbra Streisand, Gene Hackman, Michael Caine, Candice Bergen, Ryan O’Neal, Mike Nichols and so many more. But Mengers, as this insightful, often hilarious and celebrity‐filled book relates, was a mass of contradictions.” — Larry Getlen, NEW YORK POST

“A minor masterpiece of Hollywood history in its most exciting, glamorous, and gossip‐wise period.” — Liz Smith, NEW YORK SOCIAL DIARY

“An absorbing read.” — Clark Collis, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

“ ‘Colorful’ is the kind of code word one uses when actual examples can’t be published in a review. Kellow fills his lively book CAN I GO NOW? with enough ribald tales of Mengers being ‘colorful’ to fill a crayon box. That she could be endearing as well as rude and insulting to the people she represented is surprising – and just one aspect of a fascinating personality Kellow places squarely in the context of the way the movie business worked at that time.… [Kellow] gives Mengers the place in Hollywood history that she deserves.” — Douglass K. Daniel, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

“The story of how a strong woman steamrolled through the Hollywood glass ceiling is an important one, but what makes CAN I GO NOW? worth reading is its careful chronicling of what happens after the glass shatters, and that woman has to figure out how to stay on top without revealing her wounds.” — Karina Longworth, SLATE

“Effortlessly readable, especially for VANITY FAIR enthusiasts and film buffs.” — LIBRARY JOURNAL

“Mengers was a complicated, powerful trailblazer, one who barged down doors for women and changed the nature of the talent‐agent business. Kellow’s absorbing biography not only peels back the layers to reveal the true nature of this fascinating individual but also delves deeply into the film industry in the latter half of the twentieth century.” — BOOKLIST (Starred review)

“Kellow, an admirer of Mengers’ spunk and achievements, serves her well in this deft, entertaining biography.” — KIRKUS REVIEWS

Full reviews:

New York Times

Slate Book Review

Los Angeles Times

New York Post


Kirkus Reviews


KTLA TV Interview

Uncouth Reflections (part 1) (part 2)

KCRW Radio

Town and Country Magazine

Author appearances:

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