Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi

These days Portia de Rossi is arguably known best as being Ellen Degeneres' wife (and maybe secondarily known for her recent roles on Better Off Ted and the brilliant Arrested Development), but when she first burst onto the American TV scene it was as icy lawyer Nelle Porter on Ally McBeal. So much of the attention that that show got was about the physical appearance and wardrobe of the actors like Calista Flockhart and Courtney Thorne-Smith. Off screen, Portia was suffering from anorexia, ending her marriage to a (male) filmmaker, and constantly worrying about her career. In Unbearable Lightness, she recounts those days with an unflinching honesty that provides a window into the mind of a woman suffering from a terrible disease.

In addition to the detailed accounts of the anorexia, Unbearable Lightness also provides a really interesting look behind the scenes of a hit TV show. Portia De Rossi joined the show when it was at its hottest, but then it eventually cooled down before being canceled after its fifth season. The bulk of the story ends before Portia and Ellen started dating, although Portia does touch on it near the end of the book. I would totally be interested in reading a sequel about the next part of her life if she chose to write one.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
High on Arrival by Mackenzie Phillips
Prairie Tale by Melissa Gilbert
Unsweetined by Jodie Sweetin
Love, Ellen by Betty Degeneres

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