Crazy Enough: A Memoir

Anyone who has seen Storm Large perform knows that “large” isn’t just a name; it’s a fitting description of her presence in the world, a big woman with big talent, big breasts, a big voice, a huge persona, and dramatically oversized sexuality. When she appeared at Laxson Auditorium with Pink Martini last November, filling in for ailing vocalist China Forbes, she left behind an indelible impression for those lucky enough to have been present. She’s been compared to a Vargas pinup come to life. Watching her in performance, it’s impossible not to speculate on what’s real about her and what’s ersatz, the kind of identity fabrication engaged in by singers from David Bowie to Lady Gaga. That’s show biz, after all, the game of let’s pretend. But there’s no pretense in Large’s raw personal memoir about growing up as the daughter of a severely bipolar mother, a woman who was in and out of institutions throughout her daughter’s childhood. In a defining moment, a misguided doctor told the 9-year-old Storm that she was certain to grow up to be just like her mother. That ignorant and insensitive comment had a profound impact, shaping the rebellion of her adolescence and young adulthood, a chronicle of sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll she tells here with unflinching honesty.