“She used her face, her hair and her grin to invite us into her world.”
I love Lucy.
Honestly, who doesn’t? Her full moniker is not required; just saying the name Lucy immediately brings a picture to one’s mind of the fiery redhead, Lucille Ball. If you were anything like me circa 2008, and had not watched a single episode of I Love Lucy, you most likely are still aware of this iconic woman. Her impact as an actor specifically in the television business has gone down in the history books.
In Sarah Royal’s book, A.K.A. Lucy, she provides the reader with a deep dive into the comedic genius whose impact on the entertainment industry was everlasting. A literal timeline provides an overview of Ball’s life, while other sections of the book provide details about how she impacted pop culture, broke into the business, her time spent making B pictures, life with Desi Arnaz, and her monumental work in television. The beautiful photography and splashy design of the publication are extremely fitting, given Lucille’s colorful and vibrant life.
Sprinkled throughout the book are stories and musings about Lucy’s life and a touching forward from Amy Poehler. Amy had directed a documentary entitled, Lucy and Desi, that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2022 and focused on the relationship between the dynamic duo. Although her documentary may not have covered a lot of new ground, it is still mandatory viewing for fans (available to watch now on Prime). I quite enjoyed the use of old audio tape recordings from Lucy and Desi as it gave the impression like they were speaking from the great beyond.
When I finally started watching I Love Lucy (shout-out to my partner in crime, Benjamin for introducing to me to her) I finally understood why my husband kept making the comparisons between her and I. Much like Lucy Ricardo, I too am a zany, scheming, and daring lady that defies the boundaries of what society deems a female should be. Lucille Ball broke barriers not only in the forms of gender stereotypes but also in terms of acceptance. Over the years as I have gotten to know more about Lucille’s life from writings such as A.K.A. Lucy, I continue to find it interesting how little differences there were between the Ricardo character and Ball herself. I Love Lucy was truly a blend of fiction and reality.
A.K.A. Lucy has inspired me to continue digging into this wonderful woman’s life. For fans of my movie podcast, Cinematic Crypt it is a guarantee that I will one day be digging up Lucille Ball. For, in terms of her Ball’s filmography, there are so many hidden gems worthy of being uncovered. Royal does a wonderful job of celebrating Lucille’s history and legacy and this book would be the perfect addition to not only her fans, but any cinephile.
A.K.A. Lucy is available for preorder here from Running Press and will be available wherever books are sold on October 10.