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True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness

A Feminist Coming of Age

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About the Book

A fiercely intelligent, hilarious, and deeply feminist collection of interrelated personal stories from Academy, Emmy, and Golden Globe Award–winning actress and director Christine Lahti.

For decades, actress and director Christine Lahti has captivated the hearts and minds of her audience through iconic roles in Chicago Hope, Running on Empty, Housekeeping, And Justice for All, Swing Shift, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, God of Carnage, and The Blacklist. Now, in True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness, this acclaimed performer channels her creativity inward to share her own story for the first time on the page.

In this poignant essay collection, Lahti focuses on three major periods of her life: her childhood, her early journey as an actress and activist, and the realities of her life as a middle-aged woman in Hollywood today. Lahti’s comical and self-deprecating voice shines through in stories such as "Kidnapped" and "Shit Happens," and she takes a boldly honest look at the painful fissures in her family in pieces such as "Mama Mia" and "Running on Empty." Taken together, the collection illuminates watershed moments in Lahti’s life, revealing her struggle to maintain integrity, fight her need for perfection, and remain true to her feminist inclinations.

Lahti’s wisdom and candid insights are reminiscent of Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck and Joan Rivers’s I Hate Everyone—and yet her experiences are not exclusive to one generation. The soul of her writing can be seen as a spiritual mother to feminist actresses and comedic voices whose works are inspiring today’s young women, including Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, Amy Poehler, Caitlin Moran, and Jenny Lawson. Her stories reveal a stumbling journey toward agency and empowerment as a woman—a journey that’s still very much a work in progress.

True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness is about the power of storytelling to affirm and reframe the bedrock of who we are, revealing that we’re all unreliable eyewitnesses when it comes to our deeply personal memories. Told in a wildly fresh, unique voice, and with the unshakable ability to laugh at herself time and again, this is Christine Lahti’s best performance yet.

About the Author

Christine Lahti

Photo of Christine Lahti

Christine Lahti is an acclaimed director and stage, television, and film actress with a career that spans over forty years. She won an Oscar for her short film, Lieberman in Love; an Oscar nomination for Swing Shift; a Golden Globe Award for No Place Like Home; an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Chicago Hope; and an Obie Award for Little Murders. On Broadway, she starred in God of Carnage and The Heidi Chronicles, among many others. Her films include Running on Empty and Housekeeping. Her television shows include Jack and Bobby, Law & Order SVU, and The Blacklist. She lives in New York City and Los Angeles.


“An intimate, conversational collection. Lahti writes with ease and authenticity... her timely chronicle of aging wisely, gracefully, and with self-respect will resonate with many readers’  —Publishers Weekly

“Engrossing, hilarious, tragic—this amazing book of essays by a wonderful actor whom we now know is also a great American storyteller, takes us from the Midwest to Hollywood to the moment of women’s rebellion we are currently in. Couldn’t put it down!” —Michael Moore, Academy Award winning filmmaker and bestselling author

“Lahti launches into the literary world with the same dynamism that has enlivened her acting roles. With brazen honesty, she recounts the many surprising, heartbreaking, and identity-building events that have punctuated her life. True Stories of an Unreliable Eyewitness oozes modesty, humor, and complete levelheadedness.” Kirkus Reviews

“This collection captures, in writing, the same array of emotions that Christine brings to the stage and screen with her acting. Funny with heart. Tears with a hint of hope. A fantastic mosaic that, when cobbled together, offers a stirring range of humanity.” —Alan Zweibel, original SNL writer and Thurber Prize winning author of The Other Shulman

“Christine Lahti has lived a full, ferocious life and her stories will break, beat and blister your heart.” —Amber Tamblyn, author, actress, and director 

“Christine Lahti’s autobiographical essays are a beautiful, painful, funny, fiercely honest walk through the streets of her life. Gorgeous landscape, dangerous potholes and all. The whole unedited she-bang. It’s Oz with the curtain pulled back. At once soul-baring, hilarious, moving and smart. I’m a fan.” —Kathy Najimy, actress and comedienne

“Lahti’s style is irreverent, bawdy, and laugh-out-loud funny, but she doesn’t shirk from painful subjects, including family mental illness. Lahti is one of those rare celebrities who not only has a fascinating life but who can also tell a relatable story with humility and humor.’ —Booklist