One of the most recognizable women of our time, America knows Jane Fonda as actress, activist, feminist, wife, and workout guru. In her extraordinary memoir, Fonda divides her life into three acts: her childhood, early films, and first marriage make up act one; her growing career in film, marriage to Ted Turner, and involvement in the Vietnam War belong to act two; and the third act belongs to the future, in which she hopes to "begin living consciously," and inspire others who can learn from her experiences. Fonda reveals intimate details and universal truths that she hopes "can provide a lens through which others can see their lives and how they can live them a little differently."
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From Publishers Weekly
At 67, Fonda looks back on a full life with insight and more than a tinge of regret. The actress-cum-activist-turned-aerobics instructor (and now philanthropist) has a lot to say and, for the most part, it's interesting-if readers can hang on through the too-frequent, lengthy passages of self-analysis. Fonda clings to the theme of defining herself through the men in her life, starting with her father, the detached and intimidating Henry Fonda, and moving through her three husbands: Barbarella director Roger Vadim (1965-1973), student activist-turned-politician Tom Hayden (1973-1990) and self-indulgent philanthropist Ted Turner (1991-2001). It doesn't matter whether Fonda's paying for her acting lessons at Lee Strasberg's studio by modeling for women's magazines; trying to internalize the role of a prostitute (for 1971's Klute); or engaging in a threesome at the request of Vadim-she continually feels inadequate. Perhaps it was her mother's suicide when Fonda was just a girl, or her parents' unhealthy marriage. Whatever the reason, Fonda has struggled with feelings of insufficiency and codependency-and eating disorders-for much of her adult life. She discusses her controversial trip to Hanoi in 1972 (writing those chapters in the present tense), rueful that she allowed herself to be photographed on an antiaircraft gun, yet insisting, "I was framed and turned into a lightning rod for people's anger." More weighty than the average celebrity memoir, Fonda's remembrances, while wordy, nicely sum up more than 50 years of American history, seen through the eyes of one well-traveled woman. Photos.
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