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In pieces : a memoir
2018
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  New York Times Review

THE WITCH ELM, by Tana French. (Viking, $28.) French has stepped away from her standout Dublin Murder Squad series to deliver a nervy, obsessive novel - equal parts crime thriller and psychological study - about an art gallery publicist and an unsolved murder in his family. YOUR DUCK IS MY DUCK: Stories, by Deborah Eisenberg. (Ecco/ HarperCollins, $26.99.) These six stories, like all of Eisenberg's work, are blazingly moral and devastatingly sidelong. She is an artist of the unsaid: the unacknowledged silences and barely intimated strangenesses of the world. THE FIFTH RISK, by Michael Lewis. (Norton, $26.95.) Lewis brings his breezy, appealing style to an examination of three relatively obscure government departments, energy, agriculture and commerce, shining a light on the life-or-death work these agencies perform, and showing how the Trump administration is doing what it can to undermine them. GANDHI: The Years That Changed the World, 1914-1948, by Ramachandra Guha. (Knopf, $40.) This second volume of a monumental biography looks at both the public and private life of a major figure of the 20th century. Guha admires Gandhi's achievements, but does not gloss over the man's flaws. GOOD AND MAD: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger, by Rebecca Traister. (Simon & Schuster, $27.) Traister, a columnist for New York magazine, argues that women's anger, long a catalyst for social change, has rarely been recognized as righteous or patriotic. Her timely new book is both a corrective and a call to action. IN PIECES, by Sally Field. (Grand Central, $29.) This somber, intimate and at times wrenching self-portrait - written by the actress herself and not a ghostwriter, with minimal rationalization, sentiment or self-pity - feels like an act of personal investigation, not a Hollywood memoir. LOOKING FOR LORRAINE: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry, by Imani Perry. (Beacon, $26.95.) This impassioned study by Perry, a scholar at Princeton, yields a fascinating portrait of the influential black playwright and activist, who died young in 1956, cutting short a life of unusual promise. BROTHERS OF THE GUN: A Memoir of the Syrian War, by Marwan Hisham and Molly Crabapple. (One World, $28.) Hisham, a journalist from Raqqa, details his country's descent into endless bloodshed. Crabapple's abundant illustrations capture the chaos. UNCLAIMED BAGGAGE, by Jen Doll. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $18.99; ages 12 and up.) This bighearted Y.A. debut follows a 16-year-old feminist whose summer job selling items from lost airport luggage punctures her Alabama town's conservative bubble. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web: nytimes.com/books

  Publishers Weekly Review

Actress Field's candid memoir exposes her constant loneliness and lifelong struggle to understand herself and her relationships with others. Field writes about her early family life growing up around Los Angeles, which included being sexually abused by her stepfather beginning at age 12, and maintaining an uneasy relationship with her alcoholic mother. She tells of her early acting career and her popular sitcom roles in Gidget and The Flying Nun when she was 17 and 20 respectively, and reveals that she hated the script for The Flying Nun and initially refused the part. Her stepfather bullied her into taking the role, which she disliked throughout its three-year run. At 22 in 1968, Field married her high school boyfriend. The marriage ended six years later, and it was then that Field met Burt Reynolds while filming Smokey and the Bandit. The three-year romantic relationship with Reynolds was unhealthy from the beginning: "Gently, Burt began to housebreak me, teaching me what was allowed and what was not." Field's stories about the earlier years of her career entertain, but the descriptions of her more recent projects feels rushed, as she barely mentions her roles in Steel Magnolias, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Forrest Gump. Ultimately, Fields paints a moving, complex self-portrait. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
In this intimate, haunting literary memoir and New York Times Notable Book of the year, an American icon tells her own story for the first time -- about a challenging and lonely childhood, the craft that helped her find her voice, and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother. <br> One of the most celebrated, beloved, and enduring actors of our time, Sally Field has an infectious charm that has captivated the nation for more than five decades, beginning with her first TV role at the age of seventeen. From Gidget 's sweet-faced "girl next door" to the dazzling complexity of Sybil to the Academy Award-worthy ferocity and depth of Norma Rae and Mary Todd Lincoln, Field has stunned audiences time and time again with her artistic range and emotional acuity. Yet there is one character who always remained hidden: the shy and anxious little girl within. <br> With raw honesty and the fresh, pitch-perfect prose of a natural-born writer, and with all the humility and authenticity her fans have come to expect, Field brings readers behind-the-scenes for not only the highs and lows of her star-studded early career in Hollywood, but deep into the truth of her lifelong relationships--including her complicated love for her own mother. Powerful and unforgettable, In Pieces is an inspiring and important account of life as a woman in the second half of the twentieth century. <br>
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