Caroline Kepnes
July 11, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Ask Me Again Tomorrow: A Life In Progress Olympia Dukakis, with Emily Heckman (HarperCollins, $25.95)

Abused child feels like an outsider and turns to theater. Best known for Moonstruck, but she’s proud of cofounding New Jersey’s Whole Theater and her female-empowerment play, The Goddess Project. IDENTITY CRISIS She had a nose job at 18 but refused to change her ethnic name. FRIGHTENING PHRASE Describes 1988, when she won the Oscar and cousin Michael ran for President, as ”the Year of the Dukakii.” FAVE ROLE Transsexual landlady in miniseries Tales of the City: ”She reminded me of me. I always knew I had male and female energies…” BOTTOM LINE Inspirational, especially if you grew up in a close-knit family. A-

Traci Lords: Underneath It All Traci Elizabeth Lords (HarperEntertainment, $23.95)

Abused child feels like an outsider and turns to pornography. Best known for XXX fare, but she’s proud of her work on Melrose Place and 1995’s female-empowerment techno album, 1000 Fires. IDENTITY CRISIS At 15, Nora Kuzma changed her name to Traci Lords and was immensely popular for her natural breasts. FRIGHTENING PHRASE ”I WAS TIRED OF BEING RAPED IN MY F — -ING SLEEP. OKAY! CAN YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?” FAVE ROLE Terminatrix in Sci Fi’s series First Wave: ”Holy cow! I was going to be a pregnant alien Antichrist!” BOTTOM LINE Jarring and sometimes too anecdotal, unless you grew up in the ’80s and dig Poison. B-

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