A memoir by a renowned actress that reads like your typical Hollywood tale. Stone found obstacles at every turn especially as she was an outspoken critic of the male-dominated culture in the film industry. It's about her childhood trauma, health challenges and recovery. But in the end, it's also a book that brings her family into focus and the importance of staying true to yourself.
“Not your typical Hollywood autobiography. Brutally honest, restless and questing.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
Sharon Stone tells her own story: a journey of healing, love, and purpose.
Sharon Stone, one of the most renowned actresses in the world, suffered a massive stroke that cost her not only her health, but her career, family, fortune, and global fame. In The Beauty of Living Twice, Stone chronicles her efforts to rebuild her life and writes about her slow road back to wholeness and health. In a business that doesn’t accept failure, in a world where too many voices are silenced, Stone found the power to return, the courage to speak up, and the will to make a difference in the lives of men, women, and children around the globe.
Over the course of these intimate pages, as candid as a personal conversation, Stone talks about her pivotal roles, her life-changing friendships, her worst disappointments, and her greatest accomplishments. She reveals how she went from a childhood of trauma and violence to a career in an industry that in many ways echoed those same assaults, under cover of money and glamour. She describes the strength and meaning she found in her children, and in her humanitarian efforts. And ultimately, she shares how she fought her way back to find not only her truth, but her family’s reconciliation and love.
Stone made headlines not just for her beauty and her talent, but for her candor and her refusal to “play nice,” and it’s those same qualities that make this memoir so powerful. The Beauty of Living Twice is a book for the wounded and a book for the survivors; it’s a celebration of women’s strength and resilience, a reckoning, and a call to activism. It is proof that it’s never too late to raise your voice and speak out.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Death Becomes Me
I opened my eyes, and there he was standing over me, just inches from my face. A stranger looking at me with so much kindness that I was sure I was going to die. He was stroking my head, my hair; God, he was handsome. I wished he were someone who loved me instead of someone whose next words were “You’re bleeding into your brain.”
He stood there gently touching my head and I just lay there knowing that no one in the room loved me. Knowing it in my guts—not needing my bleeding brain to be aware of the ridiculous slap-down of my now-immobilized life. It was late September 2001. I was in the ER at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. I asked Dr. Handsome, “Will I lose my ability to speak?” He said it’s possible. I wanted a phone. I needed to call my mom and my sister. They needed to hear this from me while I could still tell them myself. The doctor squeezed my hand in his. I realized he was doing his darndest to fill in with that special kind of love that comes when someone pursues the vocation that they were meant to, if only for moments like this. I learned a lot from him.
I called my sister, Kelly, first. She was as she always is: the most magnificent person I know. She is kinder to others than she is to herself, naïve in her gentleness. Then I called my mom, a more difficult conversation for me, since I didn’t know if she liked me very much. Here I was, dying and insecure all at the same time. She was gardening outside in her yard on top of a mountain in Pennsylvania. She fell apart.
It’s important to consider that Dot falls apart over radio commercials, so I waited, because, well, I knew she would pull it together. Despite the distance between us, she and my dad arrived in under twenty-four hours. She ran into the hospital still in her shorts, covered in gardening mud, dirt under her nails and fear on her face. Years of uncertainty and miscommunication between us fell away in a look. As I lay there knowing that I could die at any second, she stroked my face with her dusty hand and I suddenly felt that my mother loved me. Bit by bit.
My father stood beside her like a bull looking to charge.
I called my best friend of more than twenty years, Mimi, and said what we always said when the news was exceptionally good or bad: “You’d better sit down.” I could hear her sharp inhale. I said, “I might die and you are the only one I can tell the truth to because somebody needs to take care of everyone and it’s not going to be me. I’m bleeding into my brain. They don’t know why.”
She said, “Oh, shit.”
I said, “There is a very good-looking doctor here, and sadly I might not be able to flirt with him.”
She was trying not to cry as she whispered, “Oh, honey, I’m on the next plane.” As I knew she would be.
Then came the silence again. Echoing off the emergency room tiles and hitting my newly broken heart. I remember feeling something between scared and fascinated that no one was running around yelling, “STAT STAT!” like they do on TV. There was a stunning lack of urgency and movement. The doctor—yeah, that one—told me an ambulance was coming to transport me to another hospital, Moffitt-Long, which was renowned for neurological issues, and that they would take special care of me.
God, that really made me feel bad. There are just times when getting special care can be such a downer. This is not like floor seats at a Laker game or getting the table by the window at your favorite restaurant. Privileges. Fame. Shit.
It was then that I suddenly felt everything moving strangely, as if the film of my life were moving through a camera backward. Fast. I started to experience a feeling of falling, and then as though something were overtaking me, body and soul, followed by this tremendous, luminous, uplifting whiteout pulling me right out of my body and into a familiar brilliant other body of . . . knowing?
The light was so luminous. It was so . . . mystical. I wanted to know it. I wanted to immerse myself. Their faces were not just familiar. They were transcendent. Some of them had not been gone for long. I had cared for some of them until the end of this life. They were my closest friends, Caroline, Tony Duquette, Manuel. I had missed them so much. I felt so cold in the room I was coming from. They were so warm, so happy, so welcoming. Without their saying a word, I understood everything they were telling me about why we are safe, why we should not be afraid: because we are surrounded by love. That in fact we are love.
Suddenly I felt like I had been kicked in the middle of my chest by a mule, the impact was so harsh, and, astoundingly, I was awake and back in the emergency room. I had made a choice. I took the kind of gasp you take when you are underwater far too long. I sat up; the light was blinding. All I could see was Dr. Handsome, standing back, observing me.
I had to pee so badly, but as I turned to get off the gurney, I was so high up, like an Alice in a Wonderland of white and stainless steel.
“What do you need?” the doctor said.
I slipped far, farther down onto the cool tiles, and felt like I floated to the toilet and peed for a long time, wandering back to where the doctor lifted me up like the feather I had become.
Table of Contents
Death Becomes Me 3
What Is Home 22
Kitchen-Sink Irish 58
An Education 64
Role Models 82
Dancing Lessons 119
Answered Prayers 130
The Bull 191
Me Too 209
The Beauty of Living Twice 228
Resource Guide 243