Where Am I Now: True Stories of Girlhood And Accidental Fame

Mara Wilson. Penguin, $16 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-14-312822-9
Wilson, a 1990s child star (Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire) turned writer and performer, has experienced a great many highs (working with Robin Williams and Danny DeVito) as well as lows (the death of her mother when Wilson was eight) in her young life, and she shares them all with honesty, humor, and humility in this heartfelt portrait. A ham from an early age, she charms the cast and crew on sets where she’s often the only child, her stories and curiosity getting laughs; but Wilson is also a worrier who, at seven, is imagining the flowers at her funeral. The highly sensitive child is profoundly affected by the bad behavior of the Melrose Place characters she witnesses during her time on the show, and Hollywood feeds her growing well of anxieties. She becomes fixated on germs and perfectionism, and overly superstitious; later she’s diagnosed with OCD. Wilson struggles through the years after the loss of her mother; she’s painfully rejected by her industry when she’s no longer a cute moppet, and she slowly realizes that she wants to stop acting. But she’s still drawn to the spotlight and finds her place on the stages of New York’s exploding storytelling scene, becoming the “Ashkenazi Scheherazade.” Wilson is a warm narrator, and the challenges she describes facing and working through will likely resonate with those battling mental illness. Agent: Alyssa Reuben, Paradigm Talent Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/13/2016
Release date: 09/13/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-0-698-40701-5
Prebound-Glued - 272 pages - 978-0-606-39451-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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