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BOOK REVIEW Where Am I Now?
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Nina Matti
2017-02-01

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By Mara Wilson. $16; Penguin Books; 272 pages

While it must be difficult for a former child star to separate herself from her persona as, well, a former child star, Mara Wilson does an excellent job of doing just that through her new memoir, Where Am I Now?

Instead of focusing solely on her well-known roles playing the title role in Matilda or that of Nattie Hillard in Mrs. Doubtfire, she presents herself as so much more than that.

Wilson, 29, opens up in a way that exposes her true self in all her sarcasm, wit and savvy. Readers see her first kiss and attempts at becoming a cool show-choir girl in high school, but also her fights with depression, anxiety and OCD as well as her coming to terms with the loss of her mother.

I found myself genuinely chuckling to myself while imagining a young Mara literally pouncing on a boy she liked in an attempt to get him to kiss her and getting teary-eyed as she confessed her guilt at having turned down Mrs. Doubtfire 2 after hearing the news of Robin Williams' death.

As much as I enjoyed the book, I am disappointed Wilson decided not to discuss her decision to come out as bisexual through a viral tweet after the Orlando shootings.

In reference to a picture of her at a gay bar, Wilson tweeted, "I haven't been to one since college, except once when a friend brought me along. I didn't feel like I belonged there. But the LGBTQ community has always felt like home, especially a few years later when I, uh, learned something about myself. So thank you."

She clarified with a follow-up tweet saying, "Bi. But yeah." She turned the attention into a positive opportunity by sharing a GoFundMe page to support victims of the Pulse shooting.

Although in her book she does admit to always feeling like she was "in someone else's world" and discuss a disapproval of sex throughout her youth, she doesn't delve into her sexuality much beyond that.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed her entertaining, incredibly personal writing and the opportunity to get to know the person I once idolized as Matilda on an entirely new level.


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