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Catherine Hand
Becoming a Warrior

Adult; Memoir; (Market)

Becoming A Warrior is the triumphant story of a shy 10 year old little girl with a dream who perseveres for 50 years to make that dream come true. Working in both politics and entertainment she learned lessons that gave her the courage and strength to navigate through personal tragedies and professional hurdles. This book is a treasure trove of wisdom and advice for anyone with a dream.
Hand’s upbeat debut memoir offers readers a story of an unpredictable, vibrant life threaded by a childhood dream kept alive for over five decades by one woman’s faith in herself. In 1963, when she first read Madeleine L'Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time as a middle-schooler, Hand dreamt of starring as the protagonist, Meg, in the film, describing the book as “a portal into a wondrous, mysterious universe that set [her] curiosity on fire.” Over fifty years later, Hand realized her dream as one of the two producers for the movie. Becoming a Warrior chronicles the switch-backed journey of Hand’s life over half a century, with an emphasis on the ups and downs of the dream she never abandoned.

Most people grow out of childhood dreams over time, but Hand’s ambitions matured with her—through all her years as a young Hollywood executive assistant, stay-at-home mom, radio producer, and political appointee under the Obama administration, Hand’s dream of bringing L'Engle’s beloved fantasy to the screen grew and shrunk in scope and plausibility, but she never let it go. Beyond an exacting account of what it takes to produce a blockbuster—from acquiring film rights to casting to working with Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey to post-production—and working as a woman in Hollywood in the 1970s and 1980s, Hand’s memoir is also a record of how she built an identity by pursuing her goals despite numerous professional obstacles and personal challenges.

Hand writes with positivity and grace, crediting much of her success to the mentors and friends she generously describes in her memoir, particularly L’Engle, and her first boss, Norman Lear. Film industry enthusiasts, A Wrinkle in Time fans, and those interested in the painstaking process of making a big-budget film in Hollywood will delight in Hand’s accessible storytelling and the rewarding tale of a dream coming to fruition.

Takeaway: The inspiring story of one woman’s dream to make a movie from Madeleine L'Engle’s classic novel.

Great for fans of: Naomi McDougall Jones’s The Wrong Kind of Women, Christina Lane’s Phantom Lady.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A