Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Julia Anne Sweeney  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: 1959 in Spokane, Washington

Sites:

E-Mail:


Illinois Connection

Sweeney is married to scientist Michael Blum. Blum and Sweeney, along with their adopted daughter Mulan, have lived in the Chicago suburbs since 2009

Biographical and Professional Information

Julia Anne Sweeney is an American actress, comedian and author. She is known for her role as a cast member on Saturday Night Live (Pat) and for her autobiographical solo shows. She played Mrs. Keeper in the animated film Stuart Little and voiced Brittany in Father of the Pride.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

It's Pat: My Life Exposed an Official Saturday Night Live Book
ISBN: 1562829386

Hyperion. 1992

An up-close and personal peek into the life of America's favorite androgynous person reveals Pat's favorite songs and movies, among other items

God Said, Ha!: A Memoir
ISBN: 0553379232

Bantam. 1998

1995 was, for Julia Sweeney, a truly horrible year. She got a divorce (amicable), bought a small bungalow in Hollywood, and looked forward to a life that said, "Here dwells a happily single young woman!" But then the ax fell. Her younger brother Mike was diagnosed with terminal cancer and moved in with her. Her parents came to be with Mike--and moved in with her. Suddenly her tiny bungalow for one was filled to the rafters with Sweeneys. Here she was sleeping on her pull-out sofa bed while her father walked around, his Walkman on all day and her mother marveled at Julia's lack of such staples as stroganoff mixes. Every day was spent bringing Mike to and from chemotherapy, every evening watching "Chicago Hope" or "E.R." Julia was now on seriously intimate terms with the people she had spent half a lifetime growing up away from.Just weeks before Mike died, Julia was diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer--what Mike called her "sympathy cancer"--and within days of burying her brother, she underwent a radical hysterectomy, beginning her own journey through "the International House of Cancer."

From these Job-like travails, Julia has written a remarkably funny and touching memoir about a family in extremis that manages to persevere with humor, grace, and love.

If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother
ISBN: 145167404X

Simon & Schuster. 2013

Julia Sweeney, the delightful former cast member of Saturday Night Live, takes readers into the depths of her family in this hilarious and unique parenting book.

“I took so long to assemble my lovely family. If only they would disappear.”

While Julia Sweeney is known as a talented comedienne and writer and performer of her one-woman shows, she is also a talented essayist. Happily for us, the past few years have provided her with some rich material. Julia adopted a Chinese girl named Mulan (“After the movie?”) and then, a few years later, married and moved from Los Angeles to Chicago. She writes about deciding to adopt her child, strollers, nannies (including the Chinese Pat), knitting, being adopted by a dog, The Food Network, and meeting Mr. Right through an email from a complete stranger who wrote, “Desperately Seeking Sweeney-in-Law.” She recounts how she explained the facts of life to nine-year-old Mulan, a story that became a wildly popular TED talk and YouTube video.

Some of the essays reveal Julia’s ability to find that essential thread of human connection, whether it’s with her mother-in-law, who candidly reveals a story that most people would keep a secret, or with an anonymous customer service rep during a late-night phone call. But no matter what the topic, Julia always writes with elegant precision, pinning her jokes with razor-sharp observations while articulating feelings that we all share.

Poignant, provocative, and wise, this is a funny, and at times powerful, memoir by a woman living her life with originality and intelligence.


Awards

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