Sally Field appeared Sunday evening before more than 1,250 – nearly a packed house – at the Prologue to the Book Festival of the MJCCA to talk about her autobiography, “In Pieces.” The book takes readers behind the scenes of her Hollywood career and private life.
The author’s talk was under the umbrella of the Sharon V. Fagin Joy of Reading Program and in conversation with Melissa Long, former news reporter for WXIA-TV.
On a whirlwind media tour, Field has appeared on most of the “hot button” talk shows since her book’s release coincided with two major news events: the death of her paramour Burt Reynolds and the #MeToo movement. Field’s charm and sincerity were front and center in the book that took seven years to write. It is an autobiographical backdrop of her life, hinting at the abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepfather.
Three events prompted her to move forward with the book: her mother’s illness; her role in the movie, “Lincoln,” for which she had to fight; and undergoing psychotherapy. Her advice is to unravel the threads of the past so we can move forward, and put ourselves on the line, when needed.
Field was generous with her time as she established an intimacy with the audience. When asked why she expends such energy to promote the book, she said, “I cannot see your face in the audience, but with this conversation, I no longer feel alone.”
When asked about Reynolds being described unflatteringly in the book, she said, “I portrayed him as colorful and human. … In a way I’m glad he’s not here to read it.”
Audience members asked stimulating questions ranging from the time she spent in Alabama filming “Norma Rae”, what books she herself enjoyed reading, and how her role in “Brothers and Sisters” helped her deal with the homosexuality of her son, Sam.
Field left us with her favorite quote: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” (George Eliot)