Today we had the pleasure of chatting with Deanne Urmy, senior executive editor at Houghton Miflin Hartcourt, who edited award-winning actress Gabourey Sidibe’s debut memoir, This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare. Urmy discusses the editing process of the book, her expertise on memoir, and reveals that Sidibe’s book is among her favorites she’s ever worked on.
Here at So Booking Cool, we strongly agree that This is Just My Face is a must-read. Sidibe is eloquent and candid throughout, discussing everything you can think of, as well as her time in foster care, her father secretly having a second wife, her depression, her eating disorder, being a former phone-sex operator, Hollywood, the burden of being a breadwinner in her family, and how her mother (a popular Subway singer who eventually appeared on America’s Got Talent) rejected the role of Mary in Precious five years before Gabourey landed the title role in the film that launched her career.
Interestingly enough, as open as Sidibe is in all 18 chapters, Urmy says there was plenty left on the cutting room floor.
One of the standout quotes from our interview with Deanne is when she says, “[Memoir] isn’t therapy, it’s storytelling.” This makes perfect sense, especially because This is Just My Face is a compelling memoir that has that story-like feel.