My Extraordinary Ordinary Life

My Extraordinary Ordinary Life

4.1 11
by Sissy Spacek
     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview

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."

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Editorial Reviews

Jen Chaney
In this refreshingly down-to-earth and often beautifully written book, Spacek…reminds us why she's been a cinematic fixture for nearly four decades. She remains a disciplined actress with an unwavering passion for the artistic process.
—The Washington Post
Kathryn Stockett
"My Extraordinary Ordinary Life is the book version of Sissy: warm, heartfelt, and very real. Perhaps most remarkable is that Sissy's life-from the ordinary experiences of growing up in and raising a close-knit family to the extraordinary thrills of starring in some of the most iconic roles in Hollywood-unfolds as gracefully on the page as it does on the big screen and, as all of her readers will soon learn, in everyday life."
Jeannette Walls
"My Extraordinary Ordinary Life describes a remarkable woman's journey from a baton-twirling East Texas gal to an Academy-Award winning star. Sissy Spacek tells her story with warmth and grace, never straying far from the small-town roots that shaped her."
Jamaica Kincaid
"I took this book to heart, for in the end, there is no more devoted friend, no more faithful friend than Memory, a friend who commands you to interrogate and lay bare the sweetness and its opposite, of your everyday existence, the unexpected turns of it, the mystery of your origins. My Extraordinary Ordinary Life is not only a splendid example of that, but it reminds us of Sissy Spacek's true voice, a voice that we first come to know in a uniquely American way, through a character in a movie. But the soul of this dear book is not a fiction, it is shaped and infused with truth and love."
Sally Mann
"Sissy Spacek writes with the same bright animation and verve as she has lived her, indeed, extraordinary life."
From the Publisher
"My Extraordinary Ordinary Life is the book version of Sissy: warm, heartfelt, and very real. Perhaps most remarkable is that Sissy's life-from the ordinary experiences of growing up in and raising a close-knit family to the extraordinary thrills of starring in some of the most iconic roles in Hollywood-unfolds as gracefully on the page as it does on the big screen and, as all of her readers will soon learn, in everyday life."—Kathryn Stockett, New York Times bestselling author of The Help"

My Extraordinary Ordinary Life describes a remarkable woman's journey from a baton-twirling East Texas gal to an Academy-Award winning star. Sissy Spacek tells her story with warmth and grace, never straying far from the small-town roots that shaped her."—Jeannette Walls, New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses"

[A] warm narrative Like a folk song, Spacek's storytelling is tender and unhurried."—Publishers Weekly, starred review"

Sissy Spacek writes with the same bright animation and verve as she has lived her, indeed, extraordinary life."—Sally Mann, artist and writer"

I took this book to heart, for in the end, there is no more devoted friend, no more faithful friend than Memory, a friend who commands you to interrogate and lay bare the sweetness and its opposite, of your everyday existence, the unexpected turns of it, the mystery of your origins. My Extraordinary Ordinary Life is not only a splendid example of that, but it reminds us of Sissy Spacek's true voice, a voice that we first come to know in a uniquely American way, through a character in a movie. But the soul of this dear book is not a fiction, it is shaped and infused with truth and love."—Jamaica Kincaid, award-winning author

Kirkus Reviews
An average memoir from the renowned actress. Beginning with her childhood in Quitman, Texas, Spacek then chronicles her move to New York City after high school to pursue a singing career. During her time in the city, she subsisted on part-time work and help from her parents. She played the guitar and sang at a local bar and took classes at the Lee Strasberg Actors' Studio. After filming her first movie, Prime Cut (1972), Spacek moved to Los Angeles. She was then cast in Terrence Malick's classic Badlands (1973), where she met her future husband Jack Fisk, who was the art director of the movie. The memoir then recalls Spacek's life during and after her big break as the lead actress in Brian de Palma's Carrie (1976). After winning an Oscar for the role of country singer Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), Spacek took a self-imposed hiatus and moved to the country to enjoy nature, horses and a calm family life. Even though she made family life her priority, she continued to act in movies while raising her daughters; Spacek almost always brought her entire family on set. She returned to acting in the '90s and won an Oscar nomination for her role in Todd Fields' In the Bedroom (2001). Much of this overly detailed book lacks a narrative arc, but the author comes off as truly down-to-earth, a value she preaches throughout the book. As the title states, the book is "ordinary" and does not have enough drama to engage readers not directly interested in Spacek and her work. For die-hard movie buffs and Spacek fans only.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401304270
Publisher:
Hachette Books
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
175,826
File size:
16 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Sissy Spacek was raised in Quitman, Texas, the daughter of an agriculturalist and a homemaker. From her Oscar-nominated performance in Carrie, based on Stephen King's book, to her Academy-Award-winning portrayal of country singer Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter, in which she sang all of Lynn's songs and earned a Grammy nomination, her acclaimed guest role on HBO's Big Love, and her uproarious turn in The Help, she has enjoyed an enduring career in movies and television. She lives in Virginia with her husband, the production designer, Jack Fisk, six dogs, and one cat who thinks he's a dog.

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My Extraordinary Ordinary Life 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"My Ordinary Extraordinary Life" really was a pleasure to read. The ordinariness of a loving & active childhood... a solid marriage ... all these facets ... were refreshing to say the least . The down to earth-ness that is unthinkable as to most super stars was so prevalent thru out the book. I've been a fan which led me to the book but what kept me was the incredibly well written narratives and the honest emotion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sissy is a wonderful author and also a brilliant actress. I love all ehr movies and was so glad that she wrote her autobiography. I have recently moved to Quitman, Texas and I can see how she really loved it here. Great Book, hope to see more from her in the future. I have already red ti three times. HA!!!!!
Myla60 More than 1 year ago
I have not finished the book totally because of real life. BUT this is an easy, fast read. Love the ability to take me back to the happiest times in my life that she has and I did not grow up in Texas. This is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do like this actor, however this book moves so slow I could barely get through it. If I hadn't bought it, doubtful I would bother to finish. Sissy goes into great detail of everyday life during her childhood. Nothing terribly interesting to anyone unless you know her personally or are a huge fan. She wanders off into stories about various relatives. Again, not interesting. Writing style of this book seems to wander all over the place. It could have used some organization. I'm sorry to say I thought this was a very boring book. Very disappointed.
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CarolF More than 1 year ago
She tells it like it is. Surprising how much this Jersey girl has in common with a Texas lass. Have always been a fan, now I know I like the real person, too.