In many ways, Mariel Hemingway’s just-released memoir, Out Came the Sun: Overcoming the Legacy of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Suicide in My Family, mirrors the documentary she helped to make about her family, Running from Crazy. Both explore the lives of her famously dysfunctional relatives, including a mother and father who fought and drank excessively, her diagnosed bipolar and schizophrenic sister Joan (known by her nickname, Muffet) and her sister Margaux’s eventual suicide. But that’s where the similarities end. The memoir is where the world really gets to know Mariel, from her bouts with depression and disordered eating to her controlling first husband.
One of the more shocking parts of the book was Mariel’s admission that Woody Allen, her on-screen love interest in Manhtattan, offered to take her to Paris—in what she admits was most likely an attempt to seduce her—when she was 18 to his 45. He flew to her parents’ house in Idaho with the proposition, and it wasn’t until she realized that the famous director had no intention of getting her a separate hotel room on the trip that she refused.
Most upsetting of all was the fact that her parents had no problem with the arrangement. She writes: “[I] wanted them to put their foot down. They didn’t. They kept lightly encouraging me.”
In the end, Mariel turned into a remarkably stable and healthy adult—though the road it took to get to that point was more than rocky— and luckily for readers, she was brave enough to tell the tale.
Out Came the Sun: Overcoming the Legacy of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Suicide in my Family is available now.
All photographs from the personal photo library of Mariel Hemingway