It’s time for the weekly “Way Back Wednesday” where I work my way through books that I never posted a review for.
Here’s one of my favorite Non-Fiction reads from last year. I got to hear her speak and she is as amazing and energetic as you would think.
In Pieces by Sally Field
Genre: Memoir, Nonfiction
Published: September 2018
In Pieces is the perfect title for this haunting memoir. It left me in tiny, weeping pieces.
Sally Field – the bubbly surfer and ingenue, activist and runaway, Shelby’s and Forrest’s mom….she has worked in the movie industry for most of her life. She has worked with the most talented and important people. Physically she is small in stature, but she is not diminutive in any other way.
Listening to her speak recently was such an honor. She spoke of the amazing Lee Strasberg and Burt Reynolds and many other subjects during her hour long appearance. Some of the same stories are in the book. I imagine she wrote this book to help figure out her life and how the pieces all fit together. IMO, the stories aren’t intended to place blame or spill the tea but only to help her as she analyses her life’s journey.
The book is tremendously self reflective and vulnerable and beyond sad. Her relationships with her Mom (or Baa as she called her), her children and others were at times joyous and at times dysfunctional. I related to many parts of her story. She kept journals throughout her life and relatives saved every single newspaper article she was mentioned in and she had kept many old mementos which all served to help her remember and share her amazing life.
It was a hard book to get through but I’m glad I did.
Note to readers: Potentially upsetting chapters detailing the sexual abuse she suffered.
About the Book:
In this intimate, haunting literary memoir and New York Times Notable Book of the year, an American icon tells her own story for the first time — about a challenging and lonely childhood, the craft that helped her find her voice, and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother.
One of the most celebrated, beloved, and enduring actors of our time, Sally Field has an infectious charm that has captivated the nation for more than five decades, beginning with her first TV role at the age of seventeen. From Gidget’s sweet-faced “girl next door” to the dazzling complexity of Sybil to the Academy Award-worthy ferocity and depth of Norma Rae and Mary Todd Lincoln, Field has stunned audiences time and time again with her artistic range and emotional acuity. Yet there is one character who always remained hidden: the shy and anxious little girl within.
With raw honesty and the fresh, pitch-perfect prose of a natural-born writer, and with all the humility and authenticity her fans have come to expect, Field brings readers behind-the-scenes for not only the highs and lows of her star-studded early career in Hollywood, but deep into the truth of her lifelong relationships—including her complicated love for her own mother. Powerful and unforgettable, In Pieces is an inspiring and important account of life as a woman in the second half of the twentieth century.
About the Author:
While women played significant roles in her life, award-winning actress Sally Field struggled to be respected and acknowledged by the men who were close to her. Field is known for her strong women characters in her movies but unknown to her fans, she was not always the same in real life. Field says she gave in to the demands of the men who put her down. “I eliminated most of me…becoming a familiar, shadowy version of myself…”
In Pieces is written by Field who won three Emmy and two Oscar awards. She is known for her roles in the films Norma Rae and Steel Magnolias. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012 and is a 2015 National Medal of Arts awardee.
·But if you come to her memoir, “In Pieces,” expecting to meet a plucky Sally Field desperate to be liked, you will not find her. Written by the actor over seven years, without the aid of a ghostwriter (a crutch often used by celebrity authors), this somber, intimate and at times wrenching self-portrait feels like an act of personal investigation — the private act of a woman, now 71, seeking to understand how she became herself, and striving to cement together the shards of her psyche that have been chipped and shattered over the course of her life.
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