Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Jane's life ... so far

I just finished Jane Fonda's autobiography My Life So Far (the title of which just cracks me up because it smacks so much of Jenny Fields' working title for her autobiography until it morphed into the much better A Sexual Suspect.) Truthfully, Jane Fonda has never interested me a terrible amount, but I saw her on the talk show circuit promoting the book and I was really impressed with what I saw. Whatever you think of Fonda's politics, here's a woman who has truly lived. She hasn't been half-assed about it in any way or form. From where she is in her life now (she's 67, which just totally blows my mind) she can look back on a heck of a lot.

The book is divided into three acts, much like Fonda describes her life. The first act is mostly her childhood and early adulthood--up until the age of about 30 or so. The second act (which is the majority of the book) chronicles her life from 30-60 and goes into a lot of depth about her political activism ("Hanoi Jane") as well as her career choices. I sometimes felt like her movies were skimmed over in favor of "meatier" things like her Vietname war protesting, but in retrospect, it really shaped the person that she became so it's easy to see her focusing on it heavily. Truthfully, what I was really looking forward to in the book was the part devoted to the making of 9 to 5, one of my all-time favorite movies that still has the capacity to make me laugh out loud to this day. ("It looks just like Skinny & Sweet, except for the little skull and crossbones on the label!")

The last part of the book is devoted mostly to her marriage to Ted Turner (a really fun read--too bad it ended poorly for her) and her "spiritual awakening" for lack of a better word. She became a Christian late in her life and one of the really interesting parts of the book talks about how she's met and become good friends with a lot of conservative Republican Christians--people she would have dismissed out of hand earlier in her life. She wrote something like "earlier in my life, I would have never gotten close enough to see the fundamental similarity between us" or something like that anyway.

It was a pretty quick read and a great summer read. I love a good biography and this really satisfied my craving. I always love to read a good story about someone who has completely not wasted their life.

In the meantime, we're gonna need a special locker for the hat.

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