The radical honesty of celebrity memoirs

SHARON STONE WANTS YOU TO KNOW THAT she’s a survivor. And it would be easy to assume that her new memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, draws its title from its opening passage—which describes her 2001 hospitalization after suffering a brain hemorrhage and stroke that left her with a 1% chance of survival. But the book contains an entire lifetime marked by beating the odds.

Stone details miraculously surviving near-decapitation, being struck by lightning and walking away from her totaled car after skidding on black ice. The most compelling passages, however, are the clear-eyed, and at times brutally honest, recollections of how she’s persevered in the wake of trauma inflicted not by nature or accident but by other people, ranging from the physical and sexual abuse

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