In Pieces


By Sally Field

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In this intimate, haunting literary memoir and New York Times Notable Book of the year, an American icon tells her own story for the first time — about a challenging and lonely childhood, the craft that helped her find her voice, and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother.

One of the most celebrated, beloved, and enduring actors of our time, Sally Field has an infectious charm that has captivated the nation for more than five decades, beginning with her first TV role at the age of seventeen. From Gidget‘s sweet-faced “girl next door” to the dazzling complexity of Sybil to the Academy Award-worthy ferocity and depth of Norma Rae and Mary Todd Lincoln, Field has stunned audiences time and time again with her artistic range and emotional acuity. Yet there is one character who always remained hidden: the shy and anxious little girl within.
With raw honesty and the fresh, pitch-perfect prose of a natural-born writer, and with all the humility and authenticity her fans have come to expect, Field brings readers behind-the-scenes for not only the highs and lows of her star-studded early career in Hollywood, but deep into the truth of her lifelong relationships–including her complicated love for her own mother. Powerful and unforgettable, In Pieces is an inspiring and important account of life as a woman in the second half of the twentieth century.


My mother and me.


THERE WAS NO proscenium arch, no curtains or lights to create an illusion, no proper stage at all. It was just a classroom with all the chairs and their seventh-grade occupants pushed aside in disorganized clumps.

It wasn’t even a real classroom. The entire school had originally been part of an army hospital built at the end of World War II, specializing in central nervous system injuries, syphilis, and psychiatry. It had once even included a small compound for prisoners of war—a building now stuffed with classrooms and students held captive until the sound of the bell. This particular room was long and narrow, each side lined with windows, which made it look exactly like a hospital ward and nothing like a junior high school drama class. But on that day, through my twelve-year-old eyes, I saw only the faint interior of a swank apartment.

I remember watching my feet as they stomped across the worn wooden floor, and for one instant the feet weren’t mine anymore. Then I was back in the classroom again, wondering what to do with my hands, my armpits sweating so much I dripped. I stopped at the door (a wobbly contraption hinged to a freestanding frame made by the boys in wood shop), took hold of the handle, then turned back toward the thirteen-year-old playing my uncouth gangster boyfriend. With one clammy hand gripping the knob, and my whole body twisted around to face the actor—my arm awkwardly wrapped in front of me—I stood listening to the boy deliver his dialogue. When he had finished spraying words through his braces, I paused a beat, then yelled, “Drop dead, Harry,” and exited in an indignant huff, slamming the door behind me. That was it, my first moments as an actor, a scene from Born Yesterday and my pubescent version of the brassy Brooklyn bombshell Billie Dawn.

I wasn’t good. I knew I wasn’t. It was like Heidi, the little goat girl, had taken a stab at Hedda Gabler. But it didn’t matter. A new sensation had brushed past me and for one moment, I felt free. My body moved—maybe not gracefully but all on its own—without me telling it where to go, tiny flashes when it didn’t belong to me at all, and I was watching from far away with no anxious sense of time. In those cracks of light, the pressure of what people thought of me or didn’t think of me, who they wanted me to be or didn’t want me to be, completely stopped. A bell had rung, everything focused and sharpened. I could hear myself. Then it was gone again.

In the eighth grade—a year later—I had my first performance night in the school auditorium. For the first time I walked on a stage in front of an audience of parents and friends, there to watch, among other things, my Juliet—not the whole play, just two scenes: the potion scene and the death scene. My mother drove me home afterward, and I clearly remember sitting in that dark car beside her. I desperately wanted to know what she thought but was afraid to ask, so I just watched her drive. Sometimes the headlights of an oncoming car would light up the whole interior, making it seem even darker after it passed. But when her face was bright with light she looked at me, and as if we were hiding from someone, she whispered, “You were magical.”

I whispered back, “I was?” Then everything was dark again and I could barely see her at all.

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“Just that.” Another flash of headlights lit up the front seat and I could see her mouth edging toward a smile, the light bleaching her beautiful face white, then slowly fading to black.


There is a pain—so utter—

It swallows substance up—

Then covers the Abyss with Trance—

So Memory can step

Around—across—upon it—

As one within a Swoon—

Goes safely—where an open eye—

Would drop Him—Bone by Bone.

—Emily Dickinson

Little Ricky and Sally in 1948.

My beautiful mother with all three of her children.


My Grandmother’s Daughter

I WAIT FOR my mother to haunt me as she promised she would; long to wake in the night with the familiar sight of her sitting at the end of my bed, to talk to her one more time, to feel that all the pieces have been put into place, the puzzle is solved, and I can rest.

Sometimes I think I’ve seen something out of the corner of my eye and I stop still in the middle of my Pacific Palisades kitchen, looking for the flutter of a sign; or I’m walking in the West Village, headed to my New York apartment, loaded down with groceries, when I hear her laugh ring out. I turn in circles, looking for her. Where are you, Mom? Why won’t you come?

This isn’t new, this longing I have for her. It’s the same ache I had when I was five, sitting on the bench outside the nurse’s office at school, feeling embarrassed and ashamed because I had once again panicked for no apparent reason. I waited and waited, counted to ten hundreds of times, knowing that if I could see her eyes I’d be safe. Then suddenly, as if I’d conjured her out of wanting, there she was. My throat would lock as I watched her coming toward me, hugging her purse to her stomach like a hot-water bottle, and when she got close enough, I’d jump to my feet, hiding my face in her legs.

I still don’t know why grammar school was so agonizing for me. Still can’t figure out whether the agony was waiting for me in the school or I brought it in with me. Either way, it didn’t matter because nothing and no one could distract or engage me enough to lessen the dread I felt. I don’t remember having any friends or playdates—basically, in those days no one had playdates, or they weren’t called playdates. But whatever they were called, I didn’t have any. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I hated all the games at recess. “Red Rover, Red Rover,” for instance, which was not only terrifying but, let’s face it, a truly mean, totally stupid game. A group of kids would lock their arms together, then call the other students, one at a time, to run full blast into their wall of arms. If the runner was successful, the wall opened, and that runner was allowed to join the barricade. I hated this no-win situation of a game. I was the smallest one, and even if they did call my name, I couldn’t break through, only bounced off and had to return to the land of the losers. But there was always the chance that they wouldn’t call my name, and I’d have to stand there as everyone else broke through, joining the line one at a time, until they were all holding hands and looking at me, alone.

I guess you’d have to say that in my early school days—at five and six—I was a problem. A little stress case with a brand-new family and a constant stomachache that no one could explain. I remember my mother’s concern, but I certainly couldn’t tell her how to help me because I didn’t have a clue why I felt so anxious, why I wanted to hide from everyone and couldn’t act like the rest of the kids. Maybe I needed a good hard push toward socialization, and maybe my loving mother was too consumed with her own evolving life to realize that. But I’ll tell you right now, if she had tried to organize a little “get-together” for me with one of those five-year-old strangers, I would have had a conniption fit, and my mother was not a battler. So as I watched everyone picking their friends, forming clusters of companions, I felt the hill to friendship getting steeper.

Then again, maybe it wasn’t about that at all. Maybe I just needed my mother.

I have a memory of clinging to her, a vision so dimly lit that it slips from my grasp like a dream after waking. Barely out of toddlerhood, I have blond-brown bangs hanging in my eyes and one very chapped thumb tucked into my mouth. With the other hand, I’m gripping her robe at the neck, snugly hooked onto her hip as she stands, slowly stirring a pot on the old gas range. Behind us, my brother, Ricky—who is two and a half years older—sits on the hollow wooden box of a bench, rhythmically banging his feet while holding a tiny metal cowboy in one hand and a matching Indian in the other, hopping them around the oilcloth-covered table. My mother’s eyes are focused on a book lying open atop the crowded butcher-block counter, and after a moment, she turns her head as if to look out the window, then speaks in a deep, loud, slightly false voice. Ricky looks up at her, then out the window to see who’s there, while I watch for my brother’s reaction. But when she stops abruptly, shakes her head, and looks back down at the book, we relax again into her cocoon.

I still have that book. All those books of hers I now own, hardcover Modern Library editions of Ibsen, Odets, and Chekhov, her barely faded notes jotted on the pages… the same copy she was using to memorize Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard in that envelope of a kitchen.

Margaret Morlan had eyes the color of dark chocolate, laced with feathery black lashes, and was clearly drop-your-jaw beautiful. She resembled Jennifer Jones, except she had a cleft in her chin and a kind of lit-up giggle in her face that left Ms. Jones standing in the shadows, as far as I was concerned. When she looked at me, it was never through me, but into me, lifting me off the ground in an invisible embrace. I wonder if everyone felt that way. If they did, I don’t think she was aware of it, of her power. I never felt that she leaned on her looks in any way, though maybe she did before I knew her, before she was my mother. I wish I’d known her then, wish I had known what hopes and dreams she might have had.

Margaret in 1945.

I do know that in 1942 she was a twenty-year-old sophomore at Pasadena City College, where she’d been studying literature. Then when she met a soldier and married him three months later, her education came to a screeching halt. And maybe that’s what she’d been hoping for, to marry someone and to travel with him, to immediately move to Camp Barkeley in Texas. And when he was shipped overseas a year later, promising to write as often as he could, she waited for his return back in her California home, lovesick and pregnant. Maybe that’s exactly what she wanted to be: a wife and mother. But one fortuitous night, when her husband was far away in the war and my brother was barely a year old, when the world was caught in a tremendous struggle, something reached out of nowhere and changed my mother’s life.

It happened when a man named Milton Lewis approached her while she was sitting in the audience of the Pasadena Playhouse, waiting for the curtain to go up. “Excuse me,” he said. “I love how you look. Would you like to come to Paramount Pictures tomorrow for a meeting?”—or something to that effect. He then handed her his card, verifying that he was indeed a talent scout for Paramount. The next day, she traveled to Hollywood, where she met with Lord knows who and said God knows what (and as I picture her in my mind, with her soft shy demeanor, only now does it dawn on me how much gumption that must have taken on her part). She was immediately put under a three-year contract. Suddenly, without looking for it, my twenty-three-year-old mother had a career.

No one in her family had ever had a career. The men worked to earn money as best as they could: Her father had been a piano salesman, her brother a bank manager, and the whole time my mother was married to my father, he was in the army. They had jobs, but nothing anyone would call a career. Certainly, none of the women had ever dreamed of such a thing. But now, my not-yet-mother had one. Leaving her baby son in the arms of her own mother, my grandmother, she would take a bus from Pasadena to Hollywood, then transfer to a streetcar that took her within walking distance of Paramount Studios, where she was given movement classes and elocution lessons, all in an effort to help her walk and talk like Jean Arthur or her look-alike, Jennifer Jones.

Most important, my mother was also given the chance to study acting with the brilliant Charles Laughton, eventually becoming a member of his acting company, the Charles Laughton Players, performing Chekhov and Shakespeare in a small theater on Beverly Boulevard, on the outskirts of Hollywood. Not only did she find herself onstage with Mr. Laughton, but she had the amazing good fortune to be directed by him as well. These moments stayed alive in her always.

Much of this change and challenge happened before the war was over, before my father had returned, and before I was born. My memories begin here, with the book, memorizing words, and the comforting smell of noodle soup… all connected to this world where my mother grew up, this world of women, and to the house where my grandmother lived as long as I knew her.

Located in Altadena, nestled in the foothills above Pasadena, her cottage was a uniquely Californian two-bedroom wooden bungalow, trimmed in gray river rock. It had a back porch converted into a third bedroom and a front porch elevated by five big wooden stairs, where a green canvas glider always stood, waiting for us kids to give it some action. It wasn’t a big place, I know that, but to a child it seemed huge, a trusted member of the family that crackled and groaned when you walked from room to room, a comforting murmur that added to the soft chatter of female voices or the occasional pop of freshly washed clothes right off the line, snapped in the air before being folded into a pile.

My mother had spent her late adolescence and early adulthood in this house, living with her parents and older brother. It was where she had stayed when she was the lonely wife of a soldier expecting their first child, and where her beloved father had suffered a fatal heart attack—a loss that jolted her into early labor, delivering my brother six weeks premature. Then in 1949, when my mother decided to pack up her two small children and leave her marriage not quite four years after her husband’s return, this is where we came to live: my grandmother’s house.

When I look for that house in my mind, I have a blurry vision of my great-aunt Gladys standing in the dining room cutting flat rubber padding into tiny circles to paste onto her sore feet. Behind her I can see my grandmother sitting at the sewing machine by the big window, guiding a swatch of fabric under the foot, pumping the wide flat pedal back and forth. There’s a rocking chair beside the mesh-curtained fireplace where my seventy-six-year-old great-grandmother sits under a halo of white hair, her hands dancing around two thin knitting needles with a steady stream of twine-like yarn flowing from the paisley bag resting on the floor. I remember that chair, how it chirped like a cricket when my great-grandmother would rock me, quietly patting my back the whole time.

These are the women who raised my mother, whose influence had been ingrained in her. My grandmother and her sister Gladys, and their mother, Mimmie or Mama, as they called her. The two sisters lived in the house together since both of their husbands had passed away several years before, one right after the other. My great-grandmother didn’t have a permanent home of her own but moved around from daughter to daughter, sometimes making her way to South Carolina to visit Mae, the only one of her four daughters who’d stayed in the Deep South. The youngest sister, Perle, lived in nearby Glendale but was in and out of the house constantly. She was the only one whose husband was still alive, yet I don’t remember seeing Uncle Chet very often, and never for any other reason than to pop in and fix something. My mother’s brother would drop by, but I can’t remember him pausing to sit down, and even though my father must have entered the house at some point, I have no memory of it. It was a kind of no-man’s-land. A world filled with women who would straighten up if a man walked in, who would set aside the triviality of their own work and quickly move everything out of the way. But the men, whoever they were, never stayed long, and when the door slammed behind them, the house seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.

Gladys was the most imposing of the sisters and the only one who made me nervous. She’d sit at the end of the dining room table, always in the same chair, playing solitaire or one-handed canasta while she soaked her feet in a pan of hot water and Epsom salts after working all day at Bullock’s department store in Pasadena. I wanted her to like me the best, but no matter how hard I tried, Ricky was always Aunt Gladys’s favorite. Instead I had to content myself with being my grandmother’s favored child, and when I was little I always felt as though I’d been stuck with the shorter end of the stick. It has taken me a long time to see that it was my grandmother’s sturdy presence in my life—never full of tender touches or hugs and kisses, just a quiet, fierce devotion—that created a rock inside me, a safe spot I’ve always relied on but never knew I had. When I hear a house creaking under my feet, I’m instantly back there, in the safety of my grandmother’s world.

Her name was Joy and that’s what I called her. Never Grandma or Grammy or Newnee, just Joy. Which is ironic, actually, because I don’t think I ever saw an ounce of it in her. Well, maybe tiny glimpses of glee, never joy. Like years later, when we’d come to visit and she’d be waiting on the sofa, watching out the window. Then she’d quickly move to the backyard as our car came up the driveway, ready for us to scramble out. When I’d say a simple “Hi, Joy,” she’d fling her hand over her face as if to hide the smidgen of delight seeping out. The only reason I knew she was smiling was because her big puffy cheeks elevated her glasses, the cheeks that got handed down to me, along with a smaller version of her cow eyes with long lashes—spider-leg lashes, I called them.

Other than that, it was hard to read what was going on inside my grandmother. One time she caught Ricky and me playing in her “nasty, bug-infested” garage after she told us not to, and I don’t know if she was mad that we had disobeyed or scared that we’d get hurt, but for whatever reason, she chased us around the lemon tree with a switch, a switch she must have had waiting somewhere, ’cause there she was, instantly armed, red in the face and at a gallop. It was the only time in my life I saw tears rolling down my grandmother’s face, which was the most upsetting part of that whole event—those tears. Emotions, in general, were not encouraged, and if I got angry as a child, Joy would pucker her face and say, “Don’t be ugly.” So when she came at us in a blaze of fury and flowing tears, Ricky and I were totally befuddled, not knowing whether she was mad or sad, or what the hell was going on. Needless to say, we spent the rest of the day trying to make her laugh.

All of the women in Joy’s house, even Perle (whom I knew the least), were linked together like they were playing a lifelong game of “Red Rover,” except they never called anyone else to come over. They’d cluster in the backyard, just the sisters and their mama, sharing the task of turning the crank on the wooden ice-cream maker filled with cream and peaches from Joy’s tree, while we all waited for my mother to come home from her day at the studio. I would lie on the quilt one of them had spread out over the grass and dreamily listen to that bubbling chatter, punctuated by the occasional slam of the screen door as Joy moved in and out of the kitchen. Taking turns, one would talk and then another as they pleasantly gabbed on about what needed to be fixed, or what to cook for Thanksgiving, or whether the cream had set, but never about themselves, never about their past, or even their present. I never learned anything about them from eavesdropping or any other way, and for some reason I never asked. It seemed as if there was nothing I needed to know. And clearly my mother had never asked, because these women had been the backbone of her life, and yet she didn’t know any more about them than I did. And I knew nothing.

Many years later, long after Mimmie had passed away, just as all the sisters were heading toward the end of their lives, Joy slowly began to talk, revealing the memories that had been hidden for so long. It is Joy’s history, handed to her by Mimmie, her mother, but somehow a thread of that history got woven into my mother’s history and then into mine. I have always felt that, always thought that Joy’s story is somehow an important piece of this puzzle, the puzzle of me and my mother. Even though I’ve never really known why.

Born in Alabama in the late 1800s, Joy came from a long line of farming folk on both her mother’s and father’s sides. They were not the landowners, but worked on the land and were, for the most part, uneducated. When Joy’s father, Grover Bickley, suddenly died of malaria, her mother, Mimmie, was left penniless, with no means of support and four little girls to care for, my eight-year-old grandmother being the oldest. Immediately, Joy’s sisters Mae, age three, and Perle, not quite two, were sent to live in South Carolina on a farm with one of their father’s brothers, while Joy and five-year-old Gladys were sent to live nearby in the Epworth Children’s Home, where they stayed for almost ten years.

What shadowy information Joy gave us about the children’s home was all very Dickensian: It was cold, many little children died, the education was all hellfire and damnation, men are the devil and sex is evil. She told us about picking bugs—weevils, I presume, and God knows what else—out of the oatmeal, and that Gladys was sickly, refusing to eat. Joy had to force food into her. Maybe she dramatized some of the details but, bless her heart, she lived there for a good chunk of her childhood, years that no doubt shaped who she was. So if there was some creative accounting on her part, that’s fine with me.

Long after my grandmother had passed away, I began to research her life, eventually stumbling upon the 1910 U.S. Federal Census report for Columbia, South Carolina. I just sat there, staring at my computer. There they were, Joy and Gladys Bickley recorded as “inmates,” along with a list of other children. That same day, hours later, I found Mimmie, whose legal name was Redonia Ethel, living alone in a hotel located in another town. Her occupation was listed as “housekeeper,” which fits the story that Joy had told us: Her mother had worked cleaning houses during the day and as a seamstress at night, saving everything she could in an effort to reunite with her daughters.

Nine and a half years after the sisters had entered Epworth, Mimmie somehow arranged to have fourteen-year-old Gladys, who had become deathly ill, moved to the farm where her two younger sisters had been living. But while Gladys was being welcomed by Mae and Perle, seventeen-year-old Joy was being sent to Texas to live with another one of her father’s brothers, where it seems she immediately lost her voice. She simply lost the ability to speak. And who could blame her? She was now separated not only from her mother but from her sister as well. One afternoon, while sitting on the front porch with a young man who’d come to call—conversation being pretty sparse, since she was still without her voice—a letter arrived with a check to cover the cost of a train trip to Chicago, requesting she arrive as soon as possible. It was signed, James L. Bynum, Your Father.

This is where the story goes from one of plain ol’ hardship to something else altogether. Joy had always thought her father was Grover Bickley, the same as her sisters’. But he was not. When Mimmie was nineteen, she’d run off with the local schoolteacher. After she returned home, claiming she’d been married by a justice of the peace, it was then discovered that whatever had happened, legal hadn’t been a part of it. It was also discovered that several other young women in town had fallen under the spell of the dark-eyed devil, and as the story goes, the scallywag was then run out of town with a pack of yapping dogs on his heels. Who knows what truly happened, but what can’t be denied is the fact that my teenage great-grandmother was now pregnant and had no husband to show for it. As a result, Mimmie’s mother—who had by then given birth to eleven children—kicked her oldest daughter out of the house. And though Grover, a young farmhand who had always fancied Mimmie, swiftly married her, it wasn’t enough to erase the taint that now enveloped the jilted young woman. Mimmie never set eyes on her mother again.

Before receiving Bynum’s letter, Joy had never wondered about her mama’s family or why she’d never met them, and maybe she never thought to ask. I can’t imagine the impact it must have had on her when she finally put the pieces together. Not only had she grown up in an orphanage and felt the humiliation of that, but she was now shamed with the sudden knowledge that she was illegitimate. Be that as it may, she was still curious enough to take that train trip to Chicago (presumably with her voice) and meet the rascal of a man she would forever after refer to as her father. Joy would cover her face and actually giggle when she talked about him, always making sure I heard the fact that, though he had a mistress, her successful father—who had by then become an educated lawyer—never married.

During that trip, Bynum invited his daughter to live with him. Joy declined the offer, choosing to travel back to Texas—a decision she would chew on for the rest of her life. But she never lost contact with him, visiting several more times. She did accept Bynum’s offer to pay for her tuition to secretarial school, and soon my grandmother was making enough money to bring Mimmie to Texas to live with her, along with her sisters Perle and, most especially, Gladys. It was there that Joy met and married my grandfather, Wallace Miller Morlan, and on May 10, 1922, it was there—in Houston, to be exact—that Margaret Joy Morlan entered the world with a full head of black hair and huge dark eyes that matched both her mother’s and her grandfather’s, the dark-eyed devil she would never meet.

At the bottom of an old mildewed storage box—one of the various containers that were left with me—I found a crumbling leather diary of my mother’s, written in 1935, when she was only thirteen. By this time, she and her family, which included Mimmie, had been living in California for about six years. I know she wouldn’t have wanted me to read it, but I did (sorry, Mom).


  • "A classic in the making - the kind that will land on the bestseller list...and stay on shelves for years to come."—Boris Kachka, New York Magazine
  • "Field fuels this aching, lyrical memoir with frankness about her emotional childhood, her conflicted relationship with the late Burt Reynolds, and how acting helped her interpret life in all its pain and beauty."— Entertainment Weekly
  • "I adored Sally Field's recent memoir, In Pieces. Although it deals with really heavy subject matter - sexual violence, childhood trauma - which made me step away for a break at times, her writing is so captivating. It brings you right into the moment, even moments that took place decades ago, and brings you along on her journey of admitting truths to herself about all of the trauma she has experienced. Her descriptions of acting - as her emotional release, her true love, her craft - were beautiful, especially interwoven with what was occurring in her personal life. What a remarkable woman. (PS: This book made me call my mom and thank her for being my mom.)"—Buzzfeed
  • "A memoir as soulful, wryly witty, and lyrical as it is candid and courageous... Eye-opening and deeply affecting... Arresting in its dark disclosures, vitality, humour, and grace, Field's deeply felt and beautifully written memoir illuminates the experiences and emotions on which she draws as an exceptionally charismatic, empathic, and powerful artist."—Booklist
  • "Field holds nothing back...This powerful, timely narrative resonates with pain and triumph."—Library Journal, Best Books of 2018
  • "A complex cri de coeur [and] shockingly frank...A rarity in the world of celebrity memoirs."—p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Helvetica}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}USA Today
  • "Clarity and Grace Shine Through the Darkness in Sally Field's Memoir... If you come to "In Pieces," expecting to meet a plucky Sally Field desperate to be liked, you will not find her. Written by the actor over seven years, without the aid of a ghostwriter, this somber, intimate and at times wrenching self-portrait feels like an act of personal investigation - the private act of a woman, now 71, seeking to understand how she became herself, and striving to cement together the shards of her psyche that have been chipped and shattered over the course of her life..."In Pieces" serves as a kind of tribute to women - her mother in particular - and others who would guide and protect Field throughout her turbulent childhood and an adulthood fraught by personal and professional upheaval."—New York Times Book Review
  • "Award-winning actress Sally Field could have written a typically dishy Hollywood memoir. But her book, In Pieces, is an intensely personal, vulnerable accounting of her life and career. Field's meditations on memory, fear and love will leave you shattered. Her lyrical prose and sly humor will glue you back together again."—NPR, Best Books of 2018
  • "Raw and revealing...In her book, seven years in the writing, [Field] examines the complex relationship with her "perfectly imperfect" mother, Margaret. That is the thread that holds her story together: the woman who often held her together....[Sally Field] is not a woman who will keep quiet any longer. And that's a good thing. She still has a lot to say."—p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Helvetica; color: #323333}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}AARP
  • "Beyond the headlines...there's a smart woman's reckoning with her complicated past."— People
  • "Fantastic."—Chicago Tribune
  • "Field tells her story with such affecting literary depth...with IN PIECES, she comes to them beautifully."—Entertainment Weekly
  • "'In Pieces' is the opposite of a self-aggrandizing, celebrity biography meant to cement one's place in history. Rather, it's a vulnerable, frank, almost voyeuristic view inside Field's mind and her efforts to "piece" together her life's most crucial moments into a coherent understanding of who she is as a human being."—Atlantic Journal-Constitution
  • "Do you ever put off reading a book because it will come to an end? "In Pieces" hung around my bedroom for a week. Not surprisingly, it is as delightful as Field is."—The Florida Times-Union
  • "In Pieces is extraordinary....raw, brutally honest, introspective."—Pajiba
  • "Talented and versatile Academy and Emmy Award-winning actor Field's credits range from Gidget and Sybil to Norma Rae and Places in the Heart, among many others. Now she reveals the personal side of her story, along with her rise to fame. Reverberating throughout these pages is the impact of sexual abuse by her stepfather and her struggles to work through her relationship with her beloved mother. Field addresses these issues frankly, as she does the complex facets of her marriages and other associations (including her much-publicized relationship with actor Burt Reynolds), as well as various episodes in her behind-the-scenes professional life. Her discussion of building a vibrantly enduring acting career in the midst of turbulence is especially fascinating. There are vivid anecdotes from on and off the set, well-drawn accounts of priceless tutelage by famed Lee Strasberg, and powerful depictions of how Field crafted major dramatic roles from deep within her emotional reservoir. It is all here and in Field's inimitable words, enhanced by thoughtfully chosen photographs.

    VERDICT Especially relevant in light of the growing awareness of rape and sexual assault, this engrossing, well-written work will appeal to fans and those previously unfamiliar with Field's work."—Library Journal
  • "A reminder that telling your truth can help you heal."—Chicago Tribune
  • "Sally Field who, at 71, has ripped herself open and written one of the most exposing memoirs I have ever read. A memoir so honest and authentic it could not be more right for now if it had been produced by a trend forecaster algorithm. But, in fact, the timing is pure coincidence..With a career like hers behind her, she could have put her feet up and lived off the proceeds, keeping her girl/granny next door image intact, could have signed off on a production-line celebrity biography and people would have read it. Instead, she...fully exposed herself in her memoir... and, in so doing, put herself front and centre of the very urgent conversation we're having right now about gender."— The Pool
  • "Field lays it all on the line...In Pieces is an indelible portrait of a woman we all thought we knew."—Auburn Citizen

On Sale
Sep 18, 2018
Page Count
416 pages

Sally Field author of IN PIECES

Sally Field

About the Author

Sally Field is a two-time Academy Award and three-time Emmy Award winning actor who has portrayed dozens of iconic roles on both the large and small screens. In 2012, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2015 she was honored by President Obama with the National Medal of Arts. She has served on the Board of Directors of Vital Voices since 2002 and also served on the Board of The Sundance Institute from 1994 to 2010. She has three sons and five grandchildren.

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