Handbook for An Unpredictable Life

Handbook for An Unpredictable Life

How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair)

Book - 2014
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Random House, Inc.
Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez’s never-before-told story of surviving a harrowing childhood and of how she found success—both in and out of the Hollywood limelight.

Rosie Perez first caught our attention with her fierce dance in the title sequence ofDo the Right Thing and has since defined herself as a funny and talented actress who broke boundaries for Latinas in the film industry. What most people would be surprised to learn is that the woman with the big, effervescent personality has a secret straight out of a Dickens novel. At the age of three, Rosie’s life was turned upside down when her mentally ill mother tore her away from the only family she knew and placed her in a Catholic children’s home in New York’s Westchester County. Thus began her crazily discombobulated childhood of being shuttled between “the Home,” where she and other kids suffered all manners of cruelty from nuns, and various relatives’ apartments in Brooklyn.

Many in her circumstances would have been defined by these harrowing experiences, but with the intense determination that became her trademark, Rosie overcame the odds and made an incredible life for herself. She brings her journey vividly to life on each page of this memoir—from the vibrant streets of Brooklyn to her turbulent years in the Catholic home, and finally to film and TV sets and the LA and New York City hip-hop scenes of the 1980s and ‘90s.

More than a page-turning read, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life is a story of survival. By turns heartbreaking and funny, it is ultimately the inspirational story of a woman who has found a hard-won place of strength and peace.

Baker & Taylor
The actress shares the story of her disadvantaged childhood and her successes in and out of the Hollywood limelight, tracing her relationship with the schizophrenic mother who relinquished her to a Catholic orphanage and the fierce sense of independence that inspired her career.

Book News
Writing in a conversational style accessible to all readers, actress and dancer Rosie Perez (Do the Right Thing, White Men Can't Jump) adds plenty of humor to offset this narrative of her difficult childhood with a mentally ill mother and her traumatic experiences in a children's home. She highlights the strength she gained from the family members who tried to protect her and shares her struggles with depression and PTSD. "Trying to get past your past sucks," says Perez, "but you will find yourself along the way, and I hope your hair looks fabulous while doing it!" The book is illustrated with b&w photos from the author's personal collection. Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)

Baker
& Taylor

An Oscar-nominated actress shares the previously untold story about her disadvantaged childhood and her successes in and out of the Hollywood limelight, tracing her relationship with the schizophrenic mother who relinquished her to a Catholic orphanage, the abuse she suffered in a series of homes and the fierce sense of independence that inspired her career.

Publisher: New York :, Crown Archetype,, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780307952394
0307952398
Characteristics: xi, 322 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 25 cm

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t
Tina31966
Dec 23, 2016

Her childhood was extremely sad - having a mother with Schizophrenia and a Nun who beats the living daylights out of poor "Wosie" at the Children's Home. I cried with some of the paragraphs I read and I love her writing style; like's she's talking to you or writing in her journal- very warm and personal♥

This book grips you from the start. If you are a lover of non-fiction, biographies, add this book to your list of Must-Reads!

q
QnVz
Oct 18, 2015

I have ABSOLUTELY, ALWAYS loved and admired Rosie!! Now I know absolutely why!! AMAZING book about a wonderfully, REAL woman of color!! Loved it!!!

t
Tomkitty1
Aug 21, 2014

An amazing story of surviving a dysfunctional family/home life. She is an amazing actress. What is also amazing to me is that she forgave her mentally ill mother and still has contact with some of her half brothers and sisters considering how some of them treated her. But then again, that has always been her forgiving nature.

Rosie, congratulations on your recent spur of the moment marriage. Much success in your future endeavors.

d
Dee1nyc
Aug 18, 2014

Rosie is amazing to gave come out of the cards she was dealt with. I met her in 2004 in NY at the ASPCA. She was there with a few people, thinking back, perhaps her family. Well I was there crying because I had to put my senior dog down and I was alone. She came over to me, sat next to me and just began consoling me, rubbing my back and even offered me some of her chocolate bar. I looked up and couldn't believe it was her next to me. That was such an amazing, tenderhearted moment that made me respect her more as a person. Thank you Rosie, I never forgot that moment.

Mo18_0 Aug 15, 2014

I loved reading this book, at times it was very sad because of the abuse. I admire that Rosie wrote this book to show everyone what's behind that smile and those dimples.Rosie writes about the struggles that she went through and all the hardships. Glad that she was able to forgive her Mom and create a bond with her father. I never would have imagined that she had gone through all that she went through.

Monuu Jul 21, 2014

This memoir was pretty good. I wouldn't have thought that by her bubbly and fun personality that she went through so much growing up. I liked how she admitted to having problems with certain celebrities without trying to put them down, she's a very mature woman. I like/love Rosie Perez more after reading her memoir.

fasttom Jun 16, 2014

Rosie Perez's autobiography was the heartbreaking story of a girl who just wanted to be loved by family. I read three fourths of the book and found child abuse by St. Joseph's Home and her mother were too sad and disturbing to read. I think it was important to Ms. Perez to reveal all that she suffered. It is amazing that she overcame a lot of obstacles in her life and was successful with her career.

JMFlaherty May 19, 2014

I had a ( genuinely) crazy mother too so I know what that's like. Different stories, but still, soul sisters. Thanks for writing the book Rosie.

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QnVz
Oct 18, 2015

"And there was an order she brought instantly to the house that felt safe and light. Some of the girls didn't like her. Maybe it was because she was so sure of herself that they mistook that as arrogance. I think it was because she demanded the best from us constantly, in regards to our character and ability, without fear or intimidation--that's powerful." -Rosie of House Mother

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