I Know Where I'm Going: Katharine Hepburn, A Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler is an entertaining read. The author seems to have made a career compiling celebrity biographies, including ones about Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman and Mae West. The interviews with Hepburn that fill the book were supposed to have been conducted throughout the space of two years. There are also excerpts from other celebrities who talk about Hepburn, including director George Cukor and actors Ginger Rogers and Christopher Reeve. It's sometimes a bit repetitive, like visiting your aunt who tells you some of the same stories each time you meet. So much of the book is constructed of quotes, with no sense of exactly when the actual conversation took place. But no matter where Chandler got her quotes, the reader can hear Hepburn's voice, especially in phrases such as, "I've had every advantage. Isn't that ducky?" and "I was never a girl who considered herself clever about men, because I wasn't."
The Hepburn family, clockwise, from top: Tom, Dick, Peggy, Marion, Katharine, Bob and mother Kit. Father Tom Sr. must have been behind the camera.
As much as the book jumps around quite a bit and the interviews don't seem to be anchored in a specific time in Hepburn's life, it still centers around Kathrine Hepburn, so it can't help but be interesting. The great actress is a straight-shooter and quite frank about past relationships. She had quite a few affairs, and one marriage before she met and began her most significant relationship with fellow actor Spencer Tracy. Her first marriage and lover was Ludlow "Luddy" Smith, who would have loved her to ditch acting and assume a more traditional, wifely role, but was also understanding when that was clearly never going to be the case. After a quickie Mexican divorce, Hepburn embarked full-time on her career in the theater and in Hollywood.
Hepburn's genuine love for Spencer Tracy shines through all the quotes, no matter when or where they come from. The Tracy/Hepburn relationship has always been described as having to have been kept secret, as Spencer Tracy was Catholic and devout and didn't want to break up his family and humiliate his wife. Tracy and his wife had been living apart for years before he met Hepburn — and he had already had quite a few affairs with co-stars. Hepburn never wanted to marry. Their situation may have been unique, but it was in many ways ideal for her.