A Paper Life
A Paper Life
HarperEntertainment, Hardcover, 9780060540975, 304pp.
Publication Date: October 12, 2004
At age ten, Tatum O'Neal became the youngest Oscar winner in history for her performance in the film classic Paper Moon. She was hailed as a new kind of child star -- sassy and precocious -- for a hip, cynical age. As the sidekick to her father, the flamboyant star and man-about-town Ryan O'Neal, she became a fixture at the most glamorous Hollywood parties and counted celebrities ranging from Cher to Stanley Kubrick among her childhood friends.
But behind the glittering facade of Tatum's life lay heartbreak: abandonment, abuse, and neglect. Her alcoholic mother, the actress Joanna Moore, drifted in and out of her life. Her father, saddled with both Tatum and her brother Griffin, grew increasingly punishing and distant, especially after moving in with his longtime love, Farrah Fawcett. By her late teens, Tatum -- though a working actress with ten movies to her credit -- had begun a perilous slide into self-destruction.
Then, just before her twenty-first birthday, Tatum met the man who would become her husband: the explosive tennis great John McEnroe. They had three children, Kevin, Sean, and Emily, in quick succession, followed by one of the messiest high-profile divorces on record. With the collapse of her marriage and no real family to turn to, Tatum succumbed to the demons of her past, which would nearly kill her.
Now she has emerged clean and sober, rediscovering herself as an actress, mother, and wonderfully vibrant woman in what she considers the prime of her life.
A Paper Life is a story of strength and courage: unflinchingly honest, yet poignant, often funny, and unfailingly uplifting. It is a tale of triumph steeped in Hollywood lore -- and an inspiring testament to the healing power of love.
“A Paper Life, her slash-and-burn family album about…oh, go read it. You know you want to.”
-Janet Maslin, New York Times
“In this honest, disturbing memoir, O’Neal...reveals the behind-the-scenes story of her lonely, chaotic life...
“I know memoirs are always described as ‘explosive,’ but this one really is.”
“Forget ‘Mommie Dearest;’...it looks as if Tatum O’Neal’s A PAPER LIFE...might be the new classic.
“If an Academy Award were handed out for the most scorching family drama, it could certainly go to Tatum O’Neal...”
“In her red-hot tome, O’Neal dishes on the...Hollywood of the 1970s - in all its raunchiness.”
“In her bombshell autobiography...Tatum O’Neal...names names...while telling, for the first time, an eye-popping story...”