Lessons in Becoming Myself
In this powerful story of a woman's search for a deeper understanding of herself, Ellen Burstyn explores the unexpected paths her life has taken in this unflinchingly honest, moving, and inspirational memoir.
On Sale: October 24, 2006
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Burstyn has always defied expectations. Born in Detroit
during the Depression, she left home at eighteen, leaving
behind a complicated relationship with her mother, and moved
to Dallas to become a model. Eventually, Burstyn ended up in
New York City, where she performed in a variety of roles on
Broadway and on television in the late 1950s and early 1960s
before turning to film. Over the course of her career she
delivered brilliant performances in The Last Picture
Show, The Exorcist, Alice Doesn't Live Here
Anymore-for which she won an Academy Award for Best
Actress-Resurrection, and Requiem for a Dream.
But this book is much more than a recitation of
Burstyn's acting triumphs. It's a frank and unsparing
account of her search for personal and professional
authenticity and the consequences of that struggle.
Burstyn's efforts as an actor to uncover the enduring truths
in each of her roles, which she learned from Lee Strasberg
at the renowned Actors Studio, inform her life offstage as
well. In Lessons in Becoming Myself, Burstyn
describes her personal missteps and how confronting them
encouraged her to find a different life path. Raised a
Catholic, Burstyn has spent her life exploring a wide range
of spiritual experience-from the Himalayas to Cambodia, from
Mont Blanc to New York City-that goes deeper than labels.
Lessons in Becoming Myself is the
extraordinary story of the quest for the examined life. By
turns thoughtful and funny, insightful and lighthearted, it
is a brilliant accomplishment by one of the finest observers
of human nature.
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