A Story Lately Told / Watch Me, by Anjelica Huston

Three stars, read in April and October of 2015.

As is often the case with memoirs written by people famous for something other than writing, A Story Lately Told is essentially a stream of consciousness collection of anecdotes and names. Huston mentions a lot of famous people, describes a lot of rooms, and tells a lot of brief stories. I found it sort of gently interesting, because I think she’s a fascinating person, but I also skimmed the second half and didn’t feel like I was missing anything. She had a childhood that is utterly unrelatable for most people, and she doesn’t pretend otherwise, which is nice.

Her second book, Watch Me, is what I was looking for, and I should definitely have read it before A Story Lately Told—even though it was published second—because I didn’t know enough about Anjelica Huston to appreciate that one before this.

It seems like she’s had more of life than anyone I’ve ever heard of; not just a more interesting life, although that’s true, but somehow more of it. Her life is so Hollywood, but she grew up in Ireland, was a model in New York, married a Mexican sculptor, designed her home in the southwestern aesthetic of New Mexico, and always felt like she was “returning home” when she went to Italy, where her grandparents lived. She’s about as glamorous a movie star as they come, but is always surrounded by a menagerie of animals including dogs, birds, horses, and a giant “miniature” pig. And one of the things I loved most about her is that she often expresses the same insecurities and weaknesses I have.

I’ve always liked her, and it seems she’s a fascinating person off the screen as well as on. Reading these made me feel like I could be good friends with her.

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