Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue

by Jane Pauley

Paperback, 2005




Ballantine Books (2005), Edition: English Language, 301 pages


"Truth arrives in microscopic increments, and when enough has accumulated-in a moment of recognition, you just know. You know because the truth fits. I was the only member of my family to lack the gene for numbers, but I do need things to add up. Approaching midlife, I became aware of a darkening feeling-was it something heavy on my heart, or was something missing? Grateful as I am for the opportunities I've had, and especially for the people who came into my life as a result, I couldn't ignore this feeling. I had the impulse to begin a conversation with myself, through writing, as if to see if my fingers could get to the bottom of it. It was a Saturday morning eight or ten years ago when I began following this impulse to find the answers to unformed questions. Skywriting is what I call my personal process of discovery." And so begins this beautiful and surprising memoir, in which beloved broadcast journalist Jane Pauley tells a remarkable story of self-discovery and an extraordinary life, from her childhood in the American heartland to her three decades in television. Encompassing her beginnings at the local Indianapolis station and her bright debut-at age twenty-five on NBC's Today and later on Dateline-Pauley forthrightly delves into the ups and downs of a fantastic career. But there is much more to Jane Pauley than just the famous face on TVs. In this memoir, she reveals herself to be a brilliant woman with singular insights. She explores her roots growing up in Indiana and discusses the resiliency of the American family, and addresses with humor and depth a subject very close to her heart: discovering yourself and redefining your strengths at midlife. Striking, moving, candid, and unique, Skywriting explores firsthand the difficulty and the rewards of self-reinvention.… (more)


½ (25 ratings; 2.8)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Grandeplease
I read Skywriting to gain insight about the bipolar disorder, learn more about Jane Pauley's media career, her co-workers, the fascinating people she has met and perhaps some personal anecdotes about her husband, Garry Trudeau. It did not happen.

Skywriting is uninformative, disjointed therapy
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The only redeeming value of the book is the few pages near the end where Ms. Pauley writes about the final years of her parents as they aged and passed on.

Giving this book one-half a star is generous.
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LibraryThing member MinaIsham
-- Skywriting by Jane Pauley is an enjoyable book. There are photos of relatives & coworkers. Jane's father called her Janie, & she calls him Daddy. She writes about her childhood, career, husband & children, & experience with bipolar disorder. --
LibraryThing member TimBazzett
I'll be honest. I had Jane confused with Katie Couric when I picked up this book, but I'm certainly glad I got it. I was never a watcher or fan of Jane Pauley during her NBC years, mostly I suppose because I was always at work when she aired on the morning show. I did see a few of her Dateline
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shows probably, but don't remember much about them. But I was hooked from the first page of the first chapter. "The room was nice." Nice is a word my folks always used, a very "midwestern" word, perhaps - bland and hard to argue with. Yes, Jane is so obviously a midwesterner. Her Indiana upbringing rang a lot of bells with me and my Michigan childhood. SKYWRITING surprised me with its insight and absolute honesty. I believed her when she told how her phenomenal success just happened to her, that she never really aimed for or aspired to that level - it just came "out of the blue," as her subtitle indicates. Of course, I don't think her apple-pie good looks or natural charm hurt her any either. She just happened to come along at a time when network TV news was just discovering the value of a gorgeous women - "eye candy" for the news consumer. Look at today's morning major network news shows, with babes like Ann Curry, Meredith Viera, Diane Sawyer, etc. And the same is true on cable networks - more beautiful girls/women than I can remember or name. But perhaps the most interesting and compelling aspect of Jane's story is her treatment of her struggle with bipolar disorder. I noticed some of the book's readers complain that she doesn't go into enough detail on that aspect of her life and career. I will chalk that up to modesty and a sincere wish not to hold her family up to microscopic examination. (There is bipolarism in my family and I know it can be very difficult to deal with and is a delicate subject to talk about.) Since I haven't followed Pauley's career that closely, I'm not sure if her daytime talk show is even on anymore, but I don't think it is, because my wife watches so many of those shows, and I don't think Jane's is one of them. So maybe that "new career move" she talks about toward the end of the book didn't pan out. So what. I'm confident that Jane handled it. She's got class, this woman. I read this book through in just two sittings, so it must be "compelling" reading. Good job, Jane, and I wish you all the best in your life.
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LibraryThing member clghansen
I was hoping for more depth, but perhaps this style of memoir didn't lend itself to deeper meaning. It seemed that Ms. Pauley never found the answers to her questions.
LibraryThing member JenniferRobb
I enjoyed the book though I did get confused at times because of her non-chronological style.


Original language


Physical description

301 p.; 4.19 inches


0812971531 / 9780812971538
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