I'll Never Write My Memoirs (英語) ハードカバー – 2015/9/24
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A no-holds-barred memoir from muse, model, and music legend Grace Jones.
Grace Jones is a model-singer-actress as beloved for her films and music as she is for her eccentric personal style. Born in Jamaica in 1948, Jones began her career modeling in New York City before landing her first record deal in 1977.
It has a strong start with her youth in Jamaica, and the strict, oppressive upbringing she experienced there. The writing in the first few chapters is fascinating, especially concerning the history of Spanish Town and just the history of Jamaica in general. These and the chapters toward the end are the most cohesive and easy to follow. Toward the middle, I had trouble staying interested, and it is NOT because Ms. Jones's life is boring. Far from it! But the lack of focus and scattershot storytelling makes for a sometimes confusing read. People are named once and then mentioned again several paragraphs later and you've already forgotten who they are. I suspect that this content was dictated and transcribed later, and the writer had difficulty maintaining Ms. Jones's vibrant speaking style with print.
The book is fascinating and definitely soul-baring. The high cost of staying true to one's artistic vision is unpacked but never lamented - Ms. Jones definitely wishes she had made a few different choices, but she has lived her life on her terms and no one else's, with all the triumphs and regrets that entails. However, Ms. Jones is so deeply entrenched in that artistic vision that translating it into ideas accessible to others creates a challenge, and I think therein lies the book's weakness.
Overall, I enjoyed this work. If you are interested in Grace Jones even a little, you should read this book. If you are interested in the life of an artist, or the history of Studio 54, or fashion or art, you should read this book. If you have little patience for artistic temperaments, then you should probably give it a pass.
Several places through this book caught me by surprise and had me laughing, there's a bit of wit here and there that's a joy to read. There are some things you may not want to read, such as Grace's sulky reaction to Duran Duran winning an award over her filmed show, and then not being invited to the after awards party. Why would either of those matter, if she is truly as above-it-all and blase as her persona suggests? But that's part of the charm of this book which is Jones as she is, without worries over whether she will offend this reader or that celebrity. She learned an important lesson in signing autographs from Andy Warhol, and I think that's a good summary of the book with the life that one should live.
Most of us spend our whole lives trying not to offend anyone, to conform to not be noticed, and to finish our lives not having made any impact or mark at all. Read this memoir and discover that there is another way to view life, as a delight to surprise yourself and others. Grace Jones could have spent her life in a small village in Jamaica. She followed her bliss and the world is better for it.