Anjelica Huston’s “gorgeously written” (O, The Oprah Magazine) memoir is “an elegant, funny, and frequently haunting reminiscence of the first two decades of her life…A classic” (Vanity Fair).
In her first, dazzling memoir, Anjelica Huston shares the story of her deeply unconventional early life—her enchanted childhood in Ireland, living with her glamorous and artistic mother, educated by tutors and nuns, intrepid on a horse. Huston was raised on an Irish estate to which—between movies—her father, director John Huston, brought his array of extraordinary friends, from Carson McCullers and John Steinbeck to Peter O’Toole and Marlon Brando.
In London, where she lived with her mother and brother in the early sixties when her parents separated, Huston encountered the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac. She understudied Marianne Faithfull in Hamlet. Seventeen, striking, precocious, but still young and vulnerable, she was devastated when her mother died in a car crash. Months later she moved to New York, fell in love with the much older, brilliant but disturbed photographer, Bob Richardson, and became a model. Living in the Chelsea Hotel, working with Richard Avedon and other photographers, she navigated a volatile relationship and the dynamic cultural epicenter of New York in the seventies.
A Story Lately Told is an “evocative” (The New York Times), “magically beautiful” (The Boston Globe) memoir. Huston’s second memoir, Watch Me, will be published in November 2014.
Actress Huston achieves some moments of ringing clarity in this memoir of her youth, especially as regards her famous director father, John Huston, whom she was both terrified and in awe of (people "considered him a lion, a leader, the pirate they wished they had the audacity to be"). The daughter of his fourth wife, the dancer Ricki Soma (who was much younger than him), Anjelica Huston and her older brother, Tony, were raised in a remote 110-acre estate in West Country, Ireland, called St. Clerans, where being homeschooled; being visited by famous, quirky people; riding horses amid wildly romantic scenery; and playing dress-up filled her youth. Her father was frequently absent on far-flung shoots, and her exotic mother was "out of her element." With her parents' separation, Anjelica moved between Ireland and London, where her mother lived and where Anjelica went to school in the 1960s. She gradually embraced an acting career, appearing in her father's A Walk with Love and Death, though without confidence. After the death of her mother in 1969, Huston slipped into a more comfortable role of modeling and serving as the muse for the troubled, brilliant (and much older) fashion photographer Bob Richardson over four tortured years. Huston ends her brave account by describing her complex relationship with her father.
An Interesting Life, Certainly
Having just finished Ms. Houston's book, I must say that I am at least a little relieved. The final relationship she details here is drawn out and maddeningly sad. Her words still haunt me. The majority of this book details a very busy, at times glamorous, life. She has experienced some of the highest highs, but the lows here were incredibly low at times. I do recommend this book if you are either a fan of hers or of the time period. My only regret is that I didn't see her while she was in San Francisco.
A Story Lately Read
As an aficiondo of show biz bios, I am skeptical as each new volume in this genre appears. That being said, I hated hated hated Anjelica Huston's A Story Lately Told--no wait, I mean I HATED to see the last page of this book! This is one show biz bio that is too good to come to an end! Pulling the reader into the pages of her roller coaster life time, Huston engages all senses in telling her tale. The reader experiences the textures, tastes, sights, sounds and scents of her tumultuous days. Within these pages are folded the clothes she wore, the music that surrounded her, the views of many a fabulous vista, the unforgettable scent of her mother's perfumes, and even a taste here and there of the meals she shared with family and friends.
Here at last is a show business autobiography that transcends all others. Honest, authentic, playful and at times painfully real, this is the story of a very human being willing to share with others the precious pearls of her life experience. One question remains--when can we expect Volume 2? It cannot come too soon!
A story of self absorbed, immature parents who failed their children utterly.