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Close to the Bone

Nominated | Book Awards 2020 | English Non-fiction

Close to the Bone

Author: Lisa Ray
Publisher: Harper Collins India

Award Category: English Non-fiction
About the Book: 

'How fortunate it is when life alters you without warning.' One of India's first supermodels. Actor. Cancer survivor. Mother of twins through surrogacy. Woman of no fixed address. This is the story of Lisa Ray. An unflinching, deeply moving account of her nomadic existence: her entry into the Indian entertainment industry at sixteen; her relationship with her Bengali father and Polish mother; life on the movie sets and her brush with the Oscars; her battle with eating disorders; being diagnosed with multiple myeloma at thirty-seven; her spiritual quest; lovers and traitors, mentors and dream-makers; and the heartaches and triumphs along the way. It is also about Lisa's quest for love. Funny, charming, and gut-wrenchingly honest all at once, Close to the Bone is Lisa Ray's brave and inspiring story of a life lived on her terms.

About the Author: 

Lisa Ray has had a long and serendipitous career in the entertainment arts spanning multiple countries and films including the Oscar-nominated Water. When diagnosed with a rare blood cancer, she shared her experiences in a blog called 'The Yellow Diaries' which led to her memoir.


It is common to hear people say, ‘You become brave once you have faced death.’ I don’t agree. I think you become brave once you have faced life. To prove this point, I recommend you read Lisa Ray’s autobiography, Close to the Bone (HarperCollins). It is a beautiful commentary by a person who has faced life. The book is honest, humorous and wise.
– The Wire

“Life was a great personal experiment. Every experience was an opportunity to grow. There was no negative or positive experience; judging made it so.”
– Lisa Ray

Close To The Bone is a poignantly crafted memoir by Lisa Ray that goes beyond her battle against cancer, and traces her Polish-Indian roots, and her forays in the worlds of modelling and cinema.

This “reluctant, accidental actor” is a self-confessed nomad and rebel. Besides her desire to be a writer some day, what fuelled her passion to write her recently released memoir was to share “the circumstances of life”, in the manner she wanted. The 47-year-old bodacious actor, model, television host, philanthropist and social activist has no qualms about stating the many life situations — including her fight with multiple myeloma and her love affairs — just as they happened. Lisa Ray’s debut book, Close to the Bone, is out and spine-chilling.
– Hindustan Times

Ray’s memoir transcends a personal narrative to become the story of an Everywoman who travels the world only to return to her own self. Each chapter is a microcosm of society. Her tortured relationship with food expands into larger questions and issues related to eating and body dysmorphic disorders. The rigorous training Ray underwent to inhabit the character of the young widow Kalyani in Deepa Mehta’s Water included spending time with widows in Vrindavan and looked at their institutionalized oppression. Her gruelling audition for the role of a Bond girl as well as a few other high-budget films is a window into Hollywood from the 1990s to the late 2000s, with its big studio politics and A-list parties. Ray’s spiritual journey was a larger exploration of the ideas of healing and catharsis routed via Buddhism, Osho meditation and Hindu rituals.
– Live Mint


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