My life so far

by Jane Fonda

Paper Book, 2005





New York : Random House, c2005.


Fonda divides her "life so far" into three "acts," writing about her childhood, first films, and marriage to Roger Vadim in Act One. These early years are marked by profound sadness: her mother's mental illness and suicide when Jane is twelve years old, her father's emotional distance, and her personal struggle to find her way in the world. By her second act, she lays the foundation for her activism, even as her career takes flight. She highlights her struggle to live consciously and authentically while remaining in the public eye as she recounts her marriages to Tom Hayden and Ted Turner, and examines her controversial and defining involvement with the Vietnam War. As her film career grows, Fonda learns to incorporate her roles into a larger vision of what matters most in her life. In her third act, she is prepared to do the work of a lifetime--to begin living consciously in a way that might inspire others who can learn from her experiences.… (more)


½ (108 ratings; 4)

User reviews

LibraryThing member steve.voidstar
Not an elegant, literary writer but a forceful, honest one. Some readers may not take to the digested self-analysis served up by Ms Fonda but I took it in the same vein that I think it was given - the desire to be honest about her life and the meaning she has made of it.
Made me want to go and watch
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all her films.
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LibraryThing member Karbie
Although, I am not a huge fan of Jane Fonda's I find her book very interesting and engaging. I ordered the book out of curiosity and am glad I did. Her childhood does explain (but not excuse by any means) her actions and attitudes as an adult.
LibraryThing member Kathleen828
Finished May 5, 2005

The Lord knows His own. More properly, I suppose, He knows everyone, but I mean by my opening that He uses that which is part of our personal being to reach us -- His methods individualized for each one of us.

On several imporant occasions in my life He has conveyed His mesasge
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to me via books -- books which I had no intention of reading, books which I assumed beforehand would be either stupid or fluffy, or both.

That is the case with this one. I idly read the book jacket flaps while waiting at Borders to have coffee with a friend. It interested me enough to get a copy out of the library. Then i saw Jane on The Actors' Studio and was blown away by her honesty, and her experience of life as a repressed woman.

Her wounding childhood and the weakness to which many women are prone, that of non-self-confidence, produced a person who continuously shut down her own self and her true voice in order to get or to retain love and approval

I was stunned to find this to be true of a woman I had peceived to be strong, outpsoken, talented, rich and beautiful. And, most important to me, she began to look for and to choose her own voice when she was 60.

So, while not great literature, this book is an honest, moving, encouraging, and enlightening account of struggle and search. I liked it well enough to buy two copies, one for me and one for my daughter.

I have also been struck by the great quotations Jane uses,and have purchased several of the authors she recommends.

Happily surprised, I have both enjoyed and benefited from a book which I initially perceived as the autobiography of a movie star, something in which normally I would have no interest at all.
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LibraryThing member GeniAus.
A well written and interesting tale that became tedious at times because of the author's tendency to ramble. At 584 pages it was far too long. With some slick editing this would have been an excellent read as the content especially around the Vietnam conflict time was most interesting.
LibraryThing member FormerEnglishTeacher
Excellent, informative read but really LONG.
LibraryThing member Amethyst26
Fonda opened up about her childhood, first loves and marriage, and her activism in the anti-war campaign during Vietnam. However, that's where she ended her story, but that really wasn't her life so far even at the time of publishing. Left me wondering where the rest of her life went and wanting to
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know about it. Fonda is straight forward and a decent writer.
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LibraryThing member dimplesrao
The aura of Jane Fonda as an actor, and an activist, a feminist, and a wife, a daughter, a workout guru, a role model and a soul of style and struggle is as bright as a big star. One of the most loving and inspiring account on how much life can be packed in 60+ years. My Life So Far by Jane Fonda
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is about woman living a remarkable life on the pages of extraordinary intimacy and private truths. My favourite biography.
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LibraryThing member coffeefairy
A surprising book. I knew a little bit about Jane Fonda when I started listening to the audiobook so I had a lot to learn. It's always nice to dismantle pre-conceived notions you have of who you think someone is based on the tiny sliver you see of them via media.

The most interesting parts of the
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book, for me, were when she talked about her activist experiences, particularly when talking to veterans. The Waterbury story was really interesting.

I found that the last 10 minutes of the audiobook, which Fonda read, thank goodness, were really insightful and I wish she had written more. Of course, it may be that at that time in her life, she was starting a new chapter and maybe that will continue in another book!

It's fascinating to me that someone who had such a strong voice in her career, acting roles and activism could shrink so much in her personal life. But I do think that's common so I wasn't surprised per see. I was intrigued and wanted to know more about her life after her relationship with Ted Turner was over. I could have listened to many more chapters on that and on Fonda herself and what she learned. I want to know more about how she found her voice and how she used it.

I'm really glad I read this book. I often wished I had a hard copy so I could underline certain poignant passages, especially toward the end of the book, when Fonda briefly touched upon patriarchy, gender roles and feminism.

TW: Sexual assault, one brief mention of animal abuse, wartime violence, trauma in childhoods.
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Audie Award (Finalist — 2006)


Physical description

x, 599 p.; 25 cm


0375507108 / 9780375507106
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