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Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair) [Kindle Edition]

Rosie Perez
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $26.00
Kindle Price: $10.99
You Save: $15.01 (58%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez’s never-before-told story of surviving a harrowing childhood and of how she found success—both in and out of the Hollywood limelight.
 
Rosie Perez first caught our attention with her fierce dance in the title sequence of Do the Right Thing and has since defined herself as a funny and talented actress who broke boundaries for Latinas in the film industry. What most people would be surprised to learn is that the woman with the big, effervescent personality has a secret straight out of a Dickens novel. At the age of three, Rosie’s life was turned upside down when her mentally ill mother tore her away from the only family she knew and placed her in a Catholic children’s home in New York’s Westchester County. Thus began her crazily discombobulated childhood of being shuttled between “the Home,” where she and other kids suffered all manners of cruelty from nuns, and various relatives’ apartments in Brooklyn.
 
Many in her circumstances would have been defined by these harrowing experiences, but with the intense determination that became her trademark, Rosie overcame the odds and made an incredible life for herself. She brings her journey vividly to life on each page of this memoir—from the vibrant streets of Brooklyn to her turbulent years in the Catholic home, and finally to film and TV sets and the LA and New York City hip-hop scenes of the 1980s and ‘90s. 
 
More than a page-turning read, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life is a story of survival. By turns heartbreaking and funny, it is ultimately the inspirational story of a woman who has found a hard-won place of strength and peace.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“I read Rosie Perez's magnificent, very real, and heart wrenching book with equal parts joy and horror--horror that the world can and routinely does inflict its terrors on its children, and joy that Rosie made it out to become not only the superior, iconographic artist she is, but the magnificent woman this book reveals her to be. Her voice is the captivating instrument here: forthright, funny, and utterly her own.”—Hilton Als, staff writer, The New Yorker 

“Rosie Perez's Handbook For an Unpredictable Life is a shockingly brave, honest book, filled with so much grace, forgiveness  and humor that you feel invigorated reading it. A deeply moving story, told with unapologetic courage and heart.-- George C. Wolfe
 
“Reading this story I was shaking my head in amazement that Rosie is even walking around on the earth, still smiling, let alone creating, contributing and caring about the world.  I know lots of artists who had to persevere and overcome a lot to get where they got and do what they do, but Rosie takes the prize for triumph of a spirit undimmed.  Charles Dickens never dreamed up a more incredible hard-knocks story.--Edward Norton
 
“Rosie Perez has written a brave, hysterical, wise and compulsively readable chronicle of growing up and surviving the dual challenges of a crazy family and crazy life in Hollywood.  Like Running With Scissors before it, Handboook For an Unpredictable Life is ultimately a story of survival and will inspire us all.”—Liz Garbus

“With refreshing candor and sass, Perez transforms the painful details of her life into an inspiring reminder that even the most unforgiving of personal circumstances can be overcome.  A spunky and heartfelt memoir.” —Kirkus

About the Author

ROSIE PEREZ is an Oscar-nominated actress, whose credits include Do the Right Thing, White Men Can't Jump, Fearless, and The Counselor. She is the Artistic Chair of Urban Arts Partnership and sits on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3981 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385360738
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (February 25, 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CNQ2VPQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,550 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review March 1, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
her life story was so sad. she truly is a survivor. she brings you in from the first chapter and keeps you mesmerized til the last page. how she was able to still have respect and love for her mother and to forgive all of those that hurt her is truly priceless.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unbelievably honest life story March 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a difficult life story told one layer at a time. Rosie Perez shares with us what it was like to be HER as a child and what it took to become the person she IS. Beautifully written.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good! February 28, 2014
Format:Hardcover
It was a very moving and inspirational book, this a perfect example of judging people without really knowing anything about there lives. She has overcome many obstacles and continues to smile!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imagine a Latina's Angela's Ashes.. March 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rosie Perez wrote a masterful, revealing, touching, sad and wildly funny memoir. I loved this book, it is like a Latina Angela's Ashes. Please read this book and pass it on. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more from this gifted, charming and brilliant writer.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughter,crying,joy... March 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Reading this book opened old wounds from the past, yet brought me so much happiness as well. I too was a ward of the courts in the 1950's. I too endured physical & emotional pain. Thank you Rosie for having the courage to write this book. While reading it, I felt like you were sitting next to me telling mr your story. Crying one minute, cracking up the next. I sent a copy to my 14 year old Granddaughter, who is also a victim of abuse, hoping she will read it & know there is hope & happiness around the corner. Proud to be Puerto Rican too!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheer for Rosie! March 9, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book evokes every human emotion (sad, mad, glad, etc). Rosie takes you by the hand, and walks you through a dysfunctional childhood. You feel her pain and you refuse to put down the book until Rosie is safe.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Familiar and courageous March 7, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very strong woman -
She must have been terrified all over again to be this honest. Bravo and thank you. The Puerto Rican references are everything. You are an inspiration. blessed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW March 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I've always liked Rosie Perez. Her accent is very endearing. I have never heard or read any bad publicity about her even though I read all types of magazines such as People etc. I was very surprised to read of her difficult childhood. What a well written book. She has expressed her life in a thorough fashion and left me wanting more. God bless her for her candor.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Always loved Rosie and enjoyed her book
Always loved Rosie and enjoyed her book. I had no idea of what she had been through. Just goes to show how having a sense of humour helps you get through anything.
Published 13 hours ago by M. Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, Love, Loved it!
loved This book!

The book is amazing. Well written by Rosie Perez, meaning her tone and diction is evident and something the reader can enjoy. Read more
Published 16 hours ago by erikalynne
5.0 out of 5 stars you never would think that this happy go lucky person went through so...
Wow...you never would think that this happy go lucky person went through so much in her earlier life. An inspiration to those facing great difficulties in their life. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Laura M
5.0 out of 5 stars My wife loves Rosie Perez
I purchased this book for my wife's birthday because she loves Rosie Perez. My wife, who is not a reader, cannot put the book down. So it must hold her attention.
Published 3 days ago by N. R. Wirtz
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend.
Beautiful, funny and heart wrenching. A song from Rosie's heart to all of us. Highly recommend.
Published 3 days ago by Joyce M. Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book, funny yet sad. Well written.
Published 5 days ago by SuzyQ Production Co LLC
3.0 out of 5 stars Rocky Beginning
The beginning was rocky due to grammar and unnecessary details. But after awhile I barely noticed it. I was intrigued to know her story.
Published 11 days ago by Bos
1.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable recount of her life.
I read this with my sisters last month. I hated it, but two of them loved it. I found it very hard to believe that should recount certain details with so much clarity at age three,... Read more
Published 13 days ago by E. Wise
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a love letter...
i love love love rosie perez and that she exists. i neeeeeed her to exist as big as she is. she's a goddess of fire, rage, re-birth, and love. Read more
Published 13 days ago by ECL
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally Captivating
Rosie's brilliant and raw delivery immediately captivates your attention and emotions, commanding respect of her honesty, perseverance and fortitude. This is a must read!
Published 14 days ago by Grace
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