Learning to Live Out Loud: A Memoir

Piper Laurie. Crown Archetype, $24.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-8230-2668-5
This riveting autobiography by the nearly 80-year-old Laurie tells of her experiences from childhood through her contract years at Universal, as well as the ups and downs of her independent film, television, and stage career. Known for her roles in The Hustler and Carrie, Laurie's empathy for others makes this book far more than a star's attempt to hype an image. Family members and entertainment personalities are fully drawn and treated with honesty and respect. She recalls Ronald Reagan, her first lover, as a 40-year-old actor not yet on a path to fame. A USO tour in Korea during the war was a huge eye-opener for the 19-year-old actress, who had always experienced difficulty in speaking out and laughing; in fact, she had to be taught to laugh. Her early angst persisted for some time, as she recalls when she and actor Roddy McDowall were cast in the play, Handful of Fire: "We were thrilled. No matter how much success you have, the having to prove yourself never ends." Later in life, Laurie conquered an addiction to amphetamines, and enthusiastically embraced the eccentricities of the cult TV series Twin Peaks. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/24/2011
Release date: 11/01/2011
Ebook - 242 pages - 978-0-8230-2677-7
Hardcover - 637 pages - 978-1-4104-4713-5
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-307-95513-5
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