Out of the Corner: A Memoir

Jennifer Grey. Ballantine, $30 (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-35670-8

The Dirty Dancing star cracks open her turbulent past in this searing and heartfelt debut. Born to Broadway sensation Joel Grey and actor Jo Wilder in 1960, Grey grew up in the glow of “the biz[’s]” glittering lights and, after surviving a gauntlet of New York City prep schools in the ’70s, eventually set her sights on joining the family profession. “I didn’t know how they did it exactly,” Grey writes, “but I saw firsthand that it was possible.” With the same self-deprecating charm that made her “America’s sweetheart” (for better or, often, worse), she recounts her breakout role in John Hughes’s 1986 hit Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; dating costar Matthew Broderick—and later handing him over to his paramour Helen Hunt; her abiding friendship with her Dirty Dancing costar Patrick Swayze; and embracing her father’s sexuality after he came out at age 82. She’s also strikingly frank when contending with debacles both painful and public, including the botched surgery of her “Jewish nose” that left her acting career in shambles (“Overnight, I was basically reduced to a punch line”). In spite of the devastation, Grey emerges as a resilient star in her own story, candidly sharing with readers all her joy, confusion, and hard-won wisdom along the way. Fans won’t want to miss this. (May)
PW EDITORS’ PICKS FOR
THE BEST NEW BOOKS
PW EDITORS’ PICKS FOR THE BEST NEW BOOKS