Cheeta, a 75-year-old chimpanzee who appeared first in 1934′s Tarzan and His Mate and other Tarzan movies and, finally, in 1967′s Doctor Dolittle, has written a memoir during his retirement in Palm Springs. The British edition, released last month, was positively reviewed by Lynne Truss in the Times and was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. Me, Cheeta: My Life in Hollywood comes out here in February 2009 from Ecco: HarperCollins.
Including a filmography and an index and called by the publisher’s promotional material "Fiction/Memoir," this might be a difficult one to shelve. For now, we’re sending it out for review as a nonfiction film book, but we’ll see whether that changes after our reviewer gives it a thorough trial. I’m feeling a bit skeptical, but the Marley and Dewey success may prove prescient. What could be better than a memoir about a cute, furry animal? Perhaps a memoir by a cute, furry animal, complete with Hollywood celebrity chatter.