In her delightful and moving memoir, Sissy Spacek writes about her idyllic, barefoot childhood in a small East Texas town, with the clarity and wisdom that comes from never losing sight of her roots. Descended from industrious Czech immigrants and threadbare southern gentility, she grew up a tomboy, tagging along with two older brothers and absorbing grace and grit from her remarkable parents, who taught her that she could do anything. She also learned fearlessness in the wake of a family tragedy, the grief propelling her "like rocket fuel" to follow her dreams of becoming a performer.
With a keen sense of humor and a big-hearted voice, she describes how she arrived in New York City one star-struck summer as a seventeen-year-old carrying a suitcase and two guitars; and how she built a career that has spanned four decades with films such as Carrie, Coal Miner's Daughter, 3 Women, and The Help. She details working with some of the great directors of our time, including Terrence Malick, Robert Altman, David Lynch, and Brian De Palma-who thought of her as a no-talent set decorator until he cast her as the lead in Carrie. She also reveals why, at the height of her fame, she and her family moved away from Los Angeles to a farm in rural Virginia.
Whether she's describing the terrors and joys of raising two talented, independent daughters, taking readers behind the scenes on Oscar night, or meditating on the thrill of watching a pair of otters frolicking in her pond, Sissy Spacek's memoir is poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, plainspoken and utterly honest. My Extraordinary Ordinary Life is about what matters most: the exquisite worth of ordinary things, the simple pleasures of home and family, and the honest job of being right with the world. "If I get hit by a truck tomorrow," she writes, "I want to know I've returned my neighbor's cake pan."
For Oscar-winning actress Spacek growing up in her beloved East Texas, family and simplicity were the focus. All the things that are most important to me, I had before I left that little town, she writes. Spacek s first love, as she explains in this warm narrative, is actually singing, not acting, and as a teenager in the late 1960s, she moved to New York, helped by her cousin, Rip Torn, aspiring to be a folk singer. For every false start working on the soundtrack for a Warhol film and getting cast in a Broadway musical, projects that fell apart she found a little luck. She recorded a song that made Billboard s Top 100 ( John, You ve Gone Too Far This Time ) and became the face of Chanel No. 5 for a season despite only being five foot two. Just when she was giving up her dream of being the next Joni Mitchell, Spacek landed her first role in a forgettable film. But it got her a meeting with Badlands director Terrence Malick. The movie, where she also met her future husband, Jack Fisk, was transformative for her, professionally and personally. Although Spacek went on to work with such legends as Robert Altman and David Lynch, and earned six Academy Award nominations, it s the home she created in Virginia that inspires her. Like a folk song, Spacek s storytelling is tender and unhurried.
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One of the best books I've ever read.
I was out of books to read. I love Sissy didn't think I'd like the book. I was so wrong. She is such a wonderful person and the story of her life sounds amazing. I think this might be one of the best books I've ever come across. Thank you Sissy for sharing your life story.