Out of the Corner
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A deeply candid and refreshingly spirited memoir of identity lost and found from the star of the iconic film Dirty Dancing
“A funny, dishy, occasionally heartbreaking coming-of-age story.”—The New York Times
“Savage and engaging . . . Grey’s memoir is interesting not only for her journey out of darkness but also for what her story reveals about what women encounter in the entertainment business, and the fortitude required to make it.”—The Washington Post
In this beautiful, close-to-the bone account, Jennifer Grey takes readers on a vivid tour of the experiences that have shaped her, from her childhood as the daughter of Broadway and film legend Joel Grey, to the surprise hit with Patrick Swayze that made her America’s sweetheart, to her inspiring season eleven win on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
Throughout this intimate narrative, Grey richly evokes places and times that were defining for a generation—from her preteen days in 1970s Malibu and wild child nights in New York’s club scene, to her roles in quintessential movies of the 1980s, including The Cotton Club, Red Dawn, and her breakout performance in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. With self-deprecating humor and frankness, she looks back on her unbridled, romantic adventures in Hollywood. And with enormous bravery, she shares the devastating fallout from a plastic surgery procedure that caused the sudden and stunning loss of her professional identity and career. Grey inspires with her hard-won battle back, reclaiming her sense of self from a culture and business that can impose a narrow and unforgiving definition of female worth. She finds, at last, her own true north and starts a family of her own, just in the nick of time.
Distinctive, moving, and powerful, told with generosity and pluck, Out of the Corner is a memoir about a never-ending personal evolution, a coming-of-age story for women of every age.
The Dirty Dancing star cracks open her turbulent past in this searing and heartfelt debut. Born to Broadway sensation Joel Grey and actor Jo Wilder in 1960, Grey grew up in the glow of "the biz" glittering lights and, after surviving a gauntlet of New York City prep schools in the '70s, eventually set her sights on joining the family profession. "I didn't know how they did it exactly," Grey writes, "but I saw firsthand that it was possible." With the same self-deprecating charm that made her "America's sweetheart" (for better or, often, worse), she recounts her breakout role in John Hughes's 1986 hit Ferris Bueller's Day Off; dating costar Matthew Broderick and later handing him over to his paramour Helen Hunt; her abiding friendship with her Dirty Dancing costar Patrick Swayze; and embracing her father's sexuality after he came out at age 82. She's also strikingly frank when contending with debacles both painful and public, including the botched surgery of her "Jewish nose" that left her acting career in shambles ("Overnight, I was basically reduced to a punch line"). In spite of the devastation, Grey emerges as a resilient star in her own story, candidly sharing with readers all her joy, confusion, and hard-won wisdom along the way. Fans won't want to miss this.
It had a strong opening but did tend to jump back and forth as you got into the chapters. Sometimes hard to keep up with the chronology of events. It was a bit frenetic. And the last part tended to drag on and I was losing interest. But overall, a good read.
Great story telling of a person’s life.
Absolutely loved it! What a great writer! Very candid, thoughtful, interesting and inspiring! Thanks to Jennifer for so eloquently sharing her story.