A Paper Life

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Oct 12, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 285 pages

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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Marlene-NL - LibraryThing

On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 I wrote: Hi this book was a quick read. I really liked it, but then I started to realise (during the chapter of her marriage with John) she is always playing the victim ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TFS93 - LibraryThing

Reading her father's book and than her book, back to back. I must say that I am sure that the truth is somewhere in between the two. I do admire Tatum for admitting that she had issues. Ryan's book was a little more blaming than self-loathing. A quick read. Read full review

About the author (2004)

The youngest actress ever to win an Academy AwardŽ, Tatum O'Neal has been a public figure for the last three decades. An actress, author, and the mother of three children, she makes her home in Los Angeles, California.

Bibliographic information