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Lessons in Becoming Myself by Ellen Burstyn

Lessons in Becoming Myself

by Ellen Burstyn

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This is one of the best actor's biographies I've read. Burstyn has an amazing journey from childhood abuse to being under the thumb of the men in her relationships to her search for spirituality and meaning in her life. My only quibble is that more time is spent on the beginning and middle years than her later life, but that's small when I consider what she was willing to share. ( )
  TonyaJ | Apr 18, 2010 |
Ellen Burstyn has written a remarkably candid memoir of her life growing up in Detroit during the depression. It is truly amazing that she was able to overcome all the problems presented by her parents, failed marriages and difficulty finding success in show business. She is a remarkable woman with tremendous determination who bounced back from many setbacks. Her search for inner peace and spirituality is especially touching. I enjoyed this book by one of my favorite actresses. ( )
  kingsportlibrary | Jul 29, 2008 |
Warning: new age-y material ahead! I found that the best part of the book, but if you're leery of hearing a Hollywood star going on about that, this might not be the book for you. The initial part contains fairly standard humble-roots-to-first-break tale. Then the story takes off into how Ellen's search for ways to deal with the challenges in her life, the mistakes she made (both personal and financial), and how she finally learned,not just to say "NO!", but "YES!" (to herself). Highly recommended.
Disclaimer: I read the audiobook, which is technically "abridged" - I could see where a reader might find herself feeling bogged down in detail at times, but there's a lot of message in what she says onetheless. ( )
  Seajack | Jan 14, 2007 |
Loved this book! ( )
  jack4242cat | Nov 20, 2006 |
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In this story of a woman's search for a deeper understanding of herself, actress Burstyn explores the unexpected paths her life has taken. Born in Detroit during the Depression, she left home at eighteen, leaving behind a complicated relationship with her mother, to become a model. Eventually, she ended up on Broadway and on television in the late 1950s and early 1960s before turning to film. She delivered brilliant performances in The Last Picture Show; The Exorcist; Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, for which she won an Academy Award; Resurrection; and Requiem for a Dream. This book is a frank and unsparing account of Burstyn's search for personal and professional authenticity, the story of the quest for the examined life. Raised a Catholic, she has spent her life exploring a range of spiritual experience--from the Himalayas to Cambodia, from Mont Blanc to New York City--that goes deeper than labels.--From publisher description.… (more)

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