Malibu - California : Barbra Streisand loves being herself. And The World Students Society rises to give this star actress a standing ovation.

Maybe it's her grandkids, maybe it's being 81, but Barbra Streisand is open to new stuff. Take sharing. Well, take sharing herself., '' My name is Barbra,'' her first memoir is upon us. 

It's 970 pages and billows with doubt, anger, ardor, hurt, pride, persuasion, glory and Yiddish. I don't know that any artist has done more sharing.

And yet, last month, after lunch at her home in Malibu, Calif, Streisand shared something else, a treasure she guards almost as much as she's guarded the details of her life. And that's dessert.

There's a lot in the  book - tales of film and television shoots, clashes and bonds with collaborators, a whole chapter on Don Johnson [it's short] and another called ''Politics,'' her unwavering preference for  big blends of the masculine and the feminine.

But food is so ubiquitous that it's practically a love of Streisand's life, especially ice cream.

So when it's time for dessert at Streisand's, despite any choice you're offered, there's truly one option. And that's McConnell's Brazilian Coffee ice cream.

She write about it with an orgasmic zeal comparable only, perhaps, to stated zest for Modigliani and Sondheim. How much does Streisand love Brazilian Coffee?

In the book, she's in the middle of a sad story about a dinner with her buddy Marlon Brando, when she interrupts herself to rhapsodize over its flavor and reminisce on the lengths she has gone to get some. So I wanted to have what she's having.

Streisand's boundlessness, her capaciousness - the lack of precedent for her whole-enchilada ambitions, the daffiness, the sexiness, the talent, orchestration, passion, originality, her persistence and indefatigability; the outfits; the hair - were a watershed.

She was always adapting, if not to what was cool or ''current,'' then certainly to whom she felt she was at a given moment. '' You know me,'' she writes, late in the book. '' I'm the version queen.''

The line is straight from Streisand to Madonna, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift - version queens of different kingdoms.

That's just a list of the obvious people who billowed her into showbiz and makes no mention of the less famous folks whom Barbra Streisand inspired into a thousand other achievements.

She's '' to thine own self be true'' in neon. This might be the real Streisand Effect. And now she can take a step back and appreciate it.

'' That gives me real joy, that I affected some people into doing what they wanted to do,'' Streisand said.  '' That I gave them some sort of courage.

Or if they felt different, you know, I was somebody who felt different. That's a reward for me. That makes me feel great.''

Breaking the mold, over and over.

The World Students Society thanks Wesley Morris.


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