There are so many people – especially young people – who really just blow me away with how together and talented they are. Even when that’s not necessarily the way they view themselves. I work with these people, I’m friends with these people, and I read memoirs/essay collections by these people. They are inspirational, and leave me feeling creative and inspired.
Mara Wilson, along with Emma Gannon and Anna Kendrick (the best thing about November is her memoir) is one of those people. I’ve always had a little desire to be Mara, stemming from Matilda, and now having read her autobiography she’s just someone you can only admire.
“Tackling everything from how she first learned about sex on the set of Melrose Place, to losing her mother at a young age, to getting her first kiss (or was it kisses?) on a celebrity canoe trip, to not being “cute” enough to make it in Hollywood, these essays tell the story of one young woman’s journey from accidental fame to relative (but happy) obscurity. But they also illuminate a universal struggle: learning to accept yourself, and figuring out who you are and where you belong. Exquisitely crafted, revelatory, and full of the crack comic timing that has made Mara Wilson a sought-after live storyteller and Twitter star, Where Am I Now? introduces a witty, perceptive, and refreshingly candid new literary voice.” GoodReads.
Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame is beautifully written, and honest without over sharing. Reading Mara’s experiences at school, why a totally different environment to my education, were so familiar. The desire to belong, to be liked, and to totally separate from your feelings and emotions (hello Anxiety, my old friend).
She lost her mother just after completing Matilda, became the big sister I certainly have never been, and now she lives in New York being the artist that makes her comfortable. She’s learnt you don’t need to conform, just because you’re different doesn’t mean you won’t find your own tribe.
With an ability to learn and evolve without being told; Mara discovers feminism, evolving away from destructive views of herself and other women naturally (whereas I don’t know if I would be a feminist without people like Mara helping me along the way explaining things to me). I would love to be her friend.
Where Am I Now? was emotional and inspiring – read it now.