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Lessons in becoming myself
Burstyn, Ellen
Adult Nonfiction PN2287.B884 A3 2006

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Summary: 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. Ellen 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 Myselfis 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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