Celebrated for her indelible, Oscar-caliber performances in some of the most memorable films of the 1980s and 1990s, Debra Winger, in Undiscovered, her first book, demonstrates that her creative range extends from screen to page. Here is an intimate glimpse of an artist marvelously wide-ranging in her gifts.
In fact, as this beguiling book reveals, Winger is that rare star who dared to resist the all-consuming industry that is Hollywood becoming her entire reason for being. "I love the work," she states, "and don't much care for the business." Yet she cares deeply for the people who have inspired her. We meet them (most famously, James Bridges, Bernardo Bertolucci; most dearly, her mother, husband, and sons) here, as Winger passionately makes her case for forging a life beyond acting -- and shows how she has done just that.
Winger's screen performances have long been celebrated for their breathtaking emotional range, a quality that shines through in these pages. "When I was little," she writes, "someone told me that when you age, you turn into the person you were all your life." In this intriguing mix of reminiscence, poetry, storytelling, and insightful observation, a portrait of a life well-lived is strikingly rendered.
In this lyrical, meditative memoir, film actress Winger (of Urban Cowboy, Terms of Endearment and others) employs a distinct voice-whimsical but economic, wise but restless, stylized but warm-to explore episodes from her life as a mother, daughter and actress. In short chapters and poems, each engaging and thoughtfully composed, fans will enjoy a few personal glimpses behind the scenes of her early work, but movie making isn't the focus: "I love the work and don't much care for the business." Much of the text is devoted to family, motherhood and life in the country, but she expounds insightfully on the creative process and her desire to "light up the shadowy places, translate the unspoken, and allow it all to live together on the same page." Illustrations of doors (by famed Twin Towers tightrope walker Philippe Petit) complement the text nicely, if never directly. Though it's not for everyone, this slim volume should definitely click with an artistic or literary audience, and will give unsuspecting moviegoers a surprising new appreciation for Winger's talents.