If there is a memoir or biography about someone prolific in magazines, especially fashion + food mags, you can be sure that I will be all over it. So, despite reading mixed reviews, I needed to read Amy Odell’s biography of Anna Wintour. The criticism of the book is that Odell didn’t go deep enough and was too favorable/not critical enough/only skimmed the surface. If you go into it knowing that, I think you will still enjoy it. This is NOT a juicy tell-all or salacious memoir (for that, I can’t recommend ALT’s book enough). This biography is an impeccably researched, factual account of her life (with probably 50 pages of footnotes at the end). And her life (without any opinions or fanfare) is interesting enough to make for a fascinating read. Odell takes us from Anna Wintour’s childhood all the way through modern day. My favorite parts were those about her childhood, her rise to fame, and then modern day as there was so much that I remembered just from following her career and living in New York. At other times, it lagged and felt dry (I will confess, it was a little slow and boring at times… but it always picked up). It’s favorable but fair; overall I am an Anna fan. I think a lot of the negative press about her has been sexist, and whether or not you are a fan you have to admit that she is incredibly talented. I will hold out hope that someday Anna will write her own juicy tell all (doesn’t seem on brand) or someone close to her will… but I don’t think that will happen. You absolutely will not feel like you know Anna any better from reading this, but you will learn quite a bit about her life, where she came from, and how she got to where she is today.
Author: Amy Odell