"Thoughtfully traces [Mara Wilson's] journey from child actress to Hollywood dropout...Who is she now? She's a writer." —NPR's "Guide To 2016’s Great Reads"
“Growing up, I wanted to be Mara Wilson. Where Am I Now? is a delight.” —Ilana Glazer, cocreator and star of Broad City
Named a best book of the month by GoodReads and Entertainment Weekly
A former child actor best known for her starring roles in Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire, Mara Wilson has always felt a little young and out of place: as the only kid on a film set full of adults, the first daughter in a house full of boys, a Valley girl in New York and a neurotic in California, and a grown-up the world still remembers as a little girl. Tackling everything from what she learned about sex on the set of Melrose Place, to discovering in adolescence that she was no longer “cute” enough for Hollywood, these essays chart her journey from accidental fame to relative (but happy) obscurity. They also illuminate universal struggles, like navigating love and loss, and figuring out who you are and where you belong. Candid, insightful, moving, and hilarious, Where Am I Now? introduces Mara Wilson as a brilliant new chronicler of the experience that is growing up female.
Wilson, a 1990s child star (Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire) turned writer and performer, has experienced a great many highs (working with Robin Williams and Danny DeVito) as well as lows (the death of her mother when Wilson was eight) in her young life, and she shares them all with honesty, humor, and humility in this heartfelt portrait. A ham from an early age, she charms the cast and crew on sets where she's often the only child, her stories and curiosity getting laughs; but Wilson is also a worrier who, at seven, is imagining the flowers at her funeral. The highly sensitive child is profoundly affected by the bad behavior of the Melrose Place characters she witnesses during her time on the show, and Hollywood feeds her growing well of anxieties. She becomes fixated on germs and perfectionism, and overly superstitious; later she's diagnosed with OCD. Wilson struggles through the years after the loss of her mother; she's painfully rejected by her industry when she's no longer a cute moppet, and she slowly realizes that she wants to stop acting. But she's still drawn to the spotlight and finds her place on the stages of New York's exploding storytelling scene, becoming the "Ashkenazi Scheherazade." Wilson is a warm narrator, and the challenges she describes facing and working through will likely resonate with those battling mental illness.