Barbra Streisand promotes 'Passion'

Singer's coffee table book on home design due in the fall

Creating the perfect house is more than a passion for Barbra Streisand. It's almost primal.

The 68-year-old singer-actress-director, promoting her upcoming book about design, says her many searches for cherished household objects is a way of compensating for her father's dying when she was just 15 months old.

"The fact I didn't have a father, I think this has to do with this need of finding something you're looking for," Streisand said Tuesday at BookExpo America, where she was interviewed by Gayle King on stage at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Streisand's "My Passion for Design," a coffee table book, is scheduled to come out in the fall.

Wearing black slacks, a black top, platform sandals and a full-length coat, seated before some 2,000 booksellers and other industry officials, Streisand spoke of channeling her exacting filmmaking style into her domestic life. She showed slides of a mill house and an "elegant barn" she had built and shared anecdotes about various topics, including her "Wizard of Oz" storm cellar, the leather embossed drawers in the barn and a custom-made bed in her Malibu, Calif., house that she sized between a king and a queen.

She confided sharing a problem known to many home owners -- being overbilled by contractors -- and said her voice was hoarse for years from shouting over buzz saws and other equipment.

Streisand also reiterated what she told the Associated Press last year, that she had also written a few chapters of a memoir. But she found she wasn't ready for her life story.

"I better write about my house," she decided.
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