My Extraordinary Ordinary Life by Sissy Spacek & Maryanne Vollers

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In her delightful and moving memoir, Sissy Spacek writes about her idyllic, barefoot childhood in a small East Texas town, with the clarity and wisdom that comes from never losing sight of her roots. Descended from industrious Czech immigrants and threadbare southern gentility, she grew up a tomboy, tagging along with two older brothers and absorbing grace and grit from her remarkable parents, who taught her that she could do anything. She also learned fearlessness in the wake of a family tragedy, the grief propelling her "like rocket fuel" to follow her dreams of becoming a performer.

With a keen sense of humor and a big-hearted voice, she describes how she arrived in New York City one star-struck summer as a seventeen-year-old carrying a suitcase and two guitars; and how she built a career that has spanned four decades with films such as Carrie, Coal Miner's Daughter, 3 Women, and The Help. She details working with some of the great directors of our time, including Terrence Malick, Robert Altman, David Lynch, and Brian De Palma-who thought of her as a no-talent set decorator until he cast her as the lead in Carrie. She also reveals why, at the height of her fame, she and her family moved away from Los Angeles to a farm in rural Virginia.

Whether she's describing the terrors and joys of raising two talented, independent daughters, taking readers behind the scenes on Oscar night, or meditating on the thrill of watching a pair of otters frolicking in her pond, Sissy Spacek's memoir is poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, plainspoken and utterly honest. My Extraordinary Ordinary Life is about what matters most: the exquisite worth of ordinary things, the simple pleasures of home and family, and the honest job of being right with the world. "If I get hit by a truck tomorrow," she writes, "I want to know I've returned my neighbor's cake pan."

About Sissy Spacek & Maryanne Vollers

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Sissy Spacek was raised in Quitman, Texas, the daughter of an agriculturalist and a homemaker. From her Oscar-nominated performance in Carrie, based on Stephen King's book, to her Academy-Award-winning portrayal of country singer Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter, in which she sang all of Lynn's songs and earned a Grammy nomination, her acclaimed guest role on HBO's Big Love, and her uproarious turn in The Help, she has enjoyed an enduring career in movies and television. She lives in Virginia with her husband, the production designer, Jack Fisk, six dogs, and one cat who thinks he's a dog.
Published May 1, 2012 by Hachette Books. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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After winning an Oscar for the role of country singer Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980), Spacek took a self-imposed hiatus and moved to the country to enjoy nature, horses and a calm family life.

Mar 04 2012 | Read Full Review of My Extraordinary Ordinary Life

Publishers Weekly

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Although Spacek went on to work with such legends as Robert Altman and David Lynch, and earned six Academy Award nominations, it’s the home she created in Virginia that inspires her.

Mar 12 2012 | Read Full Review of My Extraordinary Ordinary Life

USA Today

Then there is her friendship with elusive filmmaker and fellow Texan Terrence Malick, who not only oversaw her breakthrough in 1973's Badlands but introduced her to her future husband of 38 years, noted art director Jack Fisk.Also covered is her bonding with Loretta Lynn after the country legend ...

Apr 29 2012 | Read Full Review of My Extraordinary Ordinary Life

Denver Post

"I don't even know who said it first, but the progression goes like this: At first the studio head says, 'Get me Sissy Spacek!' Then it becomes, 'Get me a young Sissy Spacek!' Then it's 'Sissy who?' " That's a passage from Spacek's autobiography, "My Extraordinary Ordinary Life," which arrives j...

Jun 17 2012 | Read Full Review of My Extraordinary Ordinary Life

Bookmarks Magazine

Perhaps most remarkable is that Sissy’s life—from the ordinary experiences of growing up in and raising a close-knit family to the extraordinary thrills of starring in some of the most iconic roles in Hollywood—unfolds as gracefully on the page as it does on the big screen and, as all of her read...

May 14 2012 | Read Full Review of My Extraordinary Ordinary Life

Austin Chronicle

The reason you don't read about Sissy Spacek's marriage or peccadilloes or scandals is that she doesn't really have any.

May 04 2012 | Read Full Review of My Extraordinary Ordinary Life


Before she was an Oscar-­winning actress, Sissy Spacek was a horse-riding tomboy in small-town Texas, where, spurred by her teenage brother’s death from leukemia, she decided early on that she wasn’t going to waste a minute.

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