From Publishers Weekly
Her grandfather and sister both committed suicide; at times, her parents "seemed not to care enough to parent" her; she was struck with movie star fame at an early age; and she's wrestled with eating disorders and control issues throughout her life. Now 40, Mariel Hemingway says these struggles have shaped who she is today, and presents this memoir as a testament to her own triumph over what some people see as "the curse of the Hemingway family." Hemingway now owns a yoga studio in Sun Valley, Idaho; each chapter of her memoir opens with a description of a yoga pose, segueing into a metaphor for how that pose represents some aspect of her life. So, for example, in the chapter entitled "Mountain Pose," Hemingway writes, "As I reflect on Mountain pose and understand the implications of its name, I can begin to understand my great need for stability and groundness." The youngest of three girls, Hemingway was a tomboy, spending much time alone outdoors. She got her acting start in Lipstick (1976), at age 13, and went on to star in Woody Allen's Manhattan (which featured the "traumatic" scene in which she and Woody made out) and a handful of other films. What makes her book so endearing is her ability to evaluate the actions she's taken over the course of her life-including her decision to have breast implants, her bizarre eating habits and her obsessive need to be in complete control of her life-and still find stability and peacefulness. Her simple writing lets the funny, honest woman shine through. Photos.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Actor Hemingway recounts her turbulent life and reflects on her experiences with yoga, beginning each chapter with a yoga pose and a discussion of how it relates to, and enriches, her life. Growing up under the shadow of her grandfather's suicide, Hemingway had anything but balance as a young woman. She achieved early success as an actress but along with that came alienation from her body. Attempting to meet Hollywood's standards, she had breast implants inserted while still in her teens and developed severe eating disorders. Yoga and motherhood helped Hemingway reconnect with herself and become centered. Hemingway's writing about yoga is surprisingly good as she describes the essence of each pose. Her reflections on her childhood and family relationships, however, are less interesting. Now in her forties, Hemingway still doesn't seem to realize that most people have imperfect parents and siblings, and that death and illness are inevitable parts of the journey. But perhaps yoga will help her, as it does so many others, attain a wider perspective. Jane Tuma
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