I believe that many people may think I went insane. I do not believe I am insane. I believe I went through a period of my life that was insane and it lasted thirty-one years," writes Anne Heche in Call Me Crazy.
Yet what is truly surprising is that the most publicized event of her personal life -- her romance with Ellen DeGeneres -- is only one development in a fascinating and difficult life that has included more than its share of heartache and tragedy.
It's a riveting read whether you're into real-life struggles or more often find yourself playing bingo than delving into the pages of someone's heartfelt outpourings of love and hardship.
Anne, the youngest of four children, moved nine times before the age of 12. During that year, Anne discovered that during her father's frequent absences, he'd been leading a double life. He died of AIDS when Anne was 13, leaving the family in poverty. Throughout her childhood, she acted in school plays and local dinner theater. After graduating high shcool, Anne began a four-year stint on Another World. During this period she began to face the horror of a childhood filled with unspeakable abuse. In the ensuing twelve years she struggled with her past, all the while experiencing success as an actress, screenwriter and director.
Filled with unsparing candor and honesty, Call Me Crazy captures Anne's struggle to face her demons, including a period in which she was, quite literally, insane. Heche's memoir reveals the woman behind the headlines, one who has conquered overwhelming odds.
From Publishers Weekly
In this harrowing autobiography, Heche unflinchingly lays bare the abuse and psychological trauma that led her to that moment.
She grew up in a fundamentalist Christian family rife with dysfunction (e.g., a father who, she says, sexually molested her).
Her resulting case of herpes went untreated because her mother didn't believe in doctors. Heche's father also disappeared for weeks
at a time (she later learned he was stealing away to have homosexual affairs) and rarely seemed to be employed.
The children were forbidden to ask any questions, under threat of being beaten with a wooden spoon.
Now, with 13 years of therapy behind her, Heche is able to talk insightfully about her emotional landscape. At one point, she believed
herself to be a heavenly messenger from a "fourth dimension" of pure love; looking back, she realizes that this insanity was her
subconscious way of surrounding herself with the love she craved, after being coldly rejected by her family. Heche says that she was
attracted to DeGeneres's strong self-image, so different from her own shattered psyche.
She doesn't describe herself as a lesbian, saying, "I fell in love with a person, not a gender," and was surprised and appalled that
the relationship evoked such a strong negative reaction in the media.
Heche is a superb narrator. Raw with emotion, her voice is by turns sorrowful, enraged and hopeful, drawing the listener into her story.
Simultaneous release with the Scribner hardcover.