In her new memoir, “In Pieces,” two-time Academy Award and three-time Emmy Award winning
actress Sally Field mends the broken pieces of her lonely childhood and early career.
The first-time author discussed her book and explained her relationship with her mother to a crowd of about 2,500 people at the “Authors!” program Sept. 25 at the Stranahan Theater.
“To do that, I had to go through all of my childhood, my relationship with my stepfather and the conflicting feelings that abuse leaves with a child,” Field said.
Two weeks after its release date on Sept. 18, 2018, “In Pieces,” currently ranks as the number two New York Times bestseller for hardcover non-fiction.
The Times named the memoir “impressive, candid and vivid.” The American icon struggled to tell her raw truth in the book and felt hesitant if her writing was worthy of reading.
In her memoir, Field shared the horrific sexual abuse she experienced by her stepfather Jock Mahoney, an actor and stuntman.
“I think anybody who comes from a childhood of abuse of any kind, whether it’s verbal, emotional [or] sexual, faces a life filled with complications, conflicts and emotions,” Field said.
She needed her stepfather to love her because her real father ignored her, she said. As a child, it was hard for her to determine what was love and rationalized her stepfather’s sexual abuse for affection.
Before the casting of “Lincoln,” Field confronted her mother about her abuse as a child.
“It was the last conversation I had with her and something was clearly leading us to say all the right things to each other,” Field said.
The conversation took place the day before her mother passed away after battling with breast cancer for some time.
Field added when her mother passed, she felt deeply anxious. There was something festering in her to share her story, but she didn’t know how to address it.
It took her nearly seven years to write the book and build the courage to share the letters she wrote for herself 40 years ago.
“My hands were shaking as I read some of them and I’m still overwhelmed people are actually reading it now because it was essentially just me,” she said.
After her book, writing became an obsession, best friend and companion for Field.
The Library Legacy Foundation sponsors the Toledo Lucas County Public Library program “Author!” in its endeavor to recruit and bring more authors to the Toledo area.
“Toledo’s Main Library works hand in hand with publishing companies to recruit authors to partake in the program while on their book tour,” said Kathy Selking, development manager of Toledo Lucas County Public Library. “Getting to bring world-class talent to Toledo is the best part of my job.”
The Blade and Buckeye Broadband partnered with TLCPL to showcase writers’ work and give them opportunities to connect with a local readership. “Authors!” celebrated its 24th season.
“The program hopefully gives readers an opportunity to make a personal connection to authors,”
Selking said. “Her willingness to share her personal life with the public is very courageous.”
Field, alongside other acclaimed individuals such as Alan Alda, actor and director; and Wil Haygood, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist, scheduled events with the program to discuss their latest literature. Selking worked hand in hand with Field’s publisher, Grand Central Publishing, to bring her to Toledo.
“Just to tour this country one city at a time is pretty miraculous,” Field said.
The actress is going on a country-wide book tour during September, October and December. She’s been featured in Newspapers like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and televisions stations like Good Morning America, ABC News, The View, Inside Edition, Access Hollywood and many more.
“She was very successful in her acting career in a time where females were not getting top roles in sitcoms,” said Kurt Franck, president, general manager and executive editor of the Blade in a phone interview with the Independent Collegian. “Acting was a male-dominated business in the ‘60s and ‘70s.”
The American icon became a household name in her teens due her leading roles in the films Gidget and The Flying Nun. Throughout her acting career, the actress won a total of two Academy awards, three Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards.
“I knew I had to find the rest of this story, not for you guys, but for me,” Field said.