Fame: The Hijacking of Reality

Fame: The Hijacking of Reality

by Justine Bateman


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"Wholly riveting."
New York Times Book Review

"Justine Bateman was famous before selfies replaced autographs, and bags of fan mail gave way to Twitter shitstorms. And here's the good news: she took notes along the way. Justine steps through the looking glass of her own celebrity, shatters it, and pieces together, beyond the shards and splinters, a reflection of her true self. The transformation is breathtaking. Revelatory and raucous, fascinating and frightening, Fame is a hell of a ride."
Michael J. Fox, actor, author of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future

"In a new book, Fame: The Hijacking of Reality, the two-time Emmy nominee takes a raw look at the culture of celebrity, reflecting on her stardom at its dizzying peak—and the 'disconcerting' feeling as it began to fade."
People Magazine

A Book Soup (Los Angeles, CA) best seller, October 15–21, 2018

"As the title Fame: The Hijacking of Reality more than implies, this is a book about the complicated aspects of all things fame."
Vanity Fair

"Bateman digs into the out-of-control nature of being famous, its psychological aftermath and why we all can't get enough of it."
New York Post

"The Family Ties alum has written the rawest, bleakest book on fame you're ever likely to read. Bateman's close-up of the celeb experience features vivid encounters with misogyny, painful meditations on aging in Hollywood, and no shortage of theses on social media's wrath."
Entertainment Weekly

"Bateman addresses the reader directly, pouring out her thoughts in a rapid-fire, conversational style. (Hunter S. Thompson is saluted in the acknowledgments.)...But her jittery delivery suits the material—the manic sugar high of celebrity and its inevitable crash. Bateman takes the reader through her entire fame cycle, from TV megastar, whose first movie role was alongside Julia Roberts, to her quieter life today as a filmmaker. She is as relentless with herself as she is with others."
Washington Post

"While Bateman's new book Fame: The Hijacking of Reality (out now) touches on the former teen starlet's experience in the public eye, it's not a memoir. Far from it, in fact—it's instead an intense meditation on the nature of fame, and a glimpse into the repercussions it has on both the individual experiencing it and the society that keeps the concept alive."
Entertainment Weekly

"Bateman takes an unsentimental look at the nature of celebrity worship in her first book, Fame: The Hijacking of Reality."
LA Weekly

Entertainment shows, magazines, websites, and other channels continuously report the latest sightings, heartbreaks, and triumphs of the famous to a seemingly insatiable public. Millions of people go to enormous lengths to achieve Fame. Fame is woven into our lives in ways that may have been unimaginable in years past.

And yet, is Fame even real? Contrary to tangible realities, Fame is one of those "realities" that we, as a society, have made. Why is that and what is it about Fame that drives us to spend so much time, money, and focus to create the framework that maintains its health?

Mining decades of experience, writer, director, producer, and actress Justine Bateman writes a visceral, intimate look at the experience of Fame. Combining the internal reality-shift of the famous, theories on the public's behavior at each stage of a famous person's career, and the experiences of other famous performers, Bateman takes the reader inside and outside the emotions of Fame. The book includes twenty-four color photographs to highlight her analysis.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781617756603
Publisher: Akashic Books
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 272,397
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Born in Rye, New York, Justine Bateman has an impressive résumé that includes Family Ties, Satisfaction, Arrested Development, and many more. As an actress, she has been nominated for a Golden Globe and two Emmy awards. An advocate for net neutrality, Bateman holds a degree from UCLA in computer science and digital media management. Her film producing credits include Easy to Assemble with Illeana Douglas and Jared Drake’s Z. Bateman wrote her directorial film short debut, Five Minutes, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival, and her follow-up film short is the drama Push. She is currently in preproduction for her directorial feature film debut of her own script, Violet. Her writing has been published by DAME, Salon, and McSweeney’s.

Read an Excerpt



Hey, you want to go somewhere with me? I'm talking about emotional time travel. You up for it? I want to show you the inside of something, of Fame, and the only way is for me to pull you in there with me. So, it's me talking. We're going to go in there and I'm going to tell you how it feels. Sometimes I'm talking to you in this book and sometimes I'm talking to someone who took a shit on me in the press or online. I don't want you to take it personally. I'm going to trust you, when I pull you into this emotional tornado. I'm going to trust you to know when I'm talking to you and when I'm talking to not-you. To know the difference. To know if I'm talking to a friendly supporter, a person innocently curious about what Fame is like, or if I'm talking to a malicious hater from my own memory. Just be in there with me. Let it toss you about.

OK. Get in the rowboat and let's go down the river.


I fucking hate memoirs. I'm never going to write one.

If you thought this was a memoir, put it back on the shelf, or get a refund, send it back. This isn't a shitty memoir. This book is about Fame. It's everything I can remember about being very famous, not so famous, and almost not-famous. It's about all the theories I've drawn about Fame. It's also about society. Why we do the things we do when we're face to face with Fame. I hate memoirs because I hate that anybody can write a memoir. You don't have to have any talent whatsoever as a writer or to have particularly good insights; just put down your life, the things you remember about your life. Everyone's got one, a life story to tell. You don't even have to have lived an extraordinary life, just something, anything. You had a pulse for 47 years and then you wrote your "memoir." And I'm not talking about books about unique experiences like surviving a plane crash in the Alps or having been kidnapped. Those books can be compelling. I'm talking about the expanded-Wikipedia-entry books. First of all, most people under 98 years old have no business writing a memoir. They just haven't lived enough of a life yet. They ha ven't lived enough of a life yet to really craft a proper dramatic arc of it. And, honestly, if your life is interesting enough to write a memoir at 98 years old, then don't bother. Just die and someone will write a biography about you. You will have been that interesting a person.

No, I hate memoirs. I'm going out on a limb here, telling you this, because I have a few close friends who have written memoirs. Good, talented people. I hope they don't take offense. There are other people who have written memoirs; people whom I don't know but whom I respect. They may take offense and now never want to meet me because I said I hate memoirs. My friend Marcus mentioned some memoirs he's read that were good; real literary gems. I haven't read them. There are a lot of books I haven't read. So, sure, probably hundreds of these gems exist, memoirs that will blow your mind. I'm sure someone will tell the world all about them, when they leave their critical review for this book online later: "Justine Bateman opens her book with an ignorant rant about the memoir genre." Something like that. That's OK.

I talked with a fair amount of book agents before finding the right one to represent me. Almost all of them wanted me to write a memoir, and not the book about Fame. Hey, maybe they thought I had lived a fascinating enough life for that, or maybe they just felt it was an easy sell. The book agent I finally really connected with never mentioned the word "memoir." He just loved my writing, the subject matter of Fame, and said, "Let's go." He's also Noam Chomsky's agent. The American intellect and national treasure, Noam Chomsky. If Noam Chomsky's book agent isn't interested in this being a memoir, then no one else should be.

Even one of the publishers I met with, a big publisher, who I assumed was fascinated by the Fame subject matter because they had been anxious to set up a meeting, eventually hit me with, "Wouldn't you rather write a memoir?"

Me, in their office, having just talked about Fame, the sociological theories, my theories, my experience, the experiences of other famous people I'd interviewed. Me, then announcing, "Just so you know, I'm not interested in writing any kind of memoir." They looked at me, eyebrows raised in that maybe-you-didn't-mean-that-aren't-we-still-having-a-good-meeting kind of way. They half blurted out, "Well, don't look around this room!"

It was only then that I actually did look around the office, and noticed that the shelves were lined with memoirs. You name the person, this company has published their memoir.

"Wouldn't you rather write a memoir?"

Aw, you too?

What I did get out of that meeting, though, was a completely new direction for the book. Still about Fame (and not a goddamn memoir), but instead of the academic version I had already half-completed, rather a cut-to-the-bone, emotional-river-of-Fame book. (One that my current publisher loves, natch.)


Excerpted from "Fame"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Justine Bateman.
Excerpted by permission of Akashic Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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