What does Sidney Sheldon talk about in his autobiography?


Quick Answer

Sidney Sheldon's autobiography, "The Other Side of Me," focuses on his childhood, his rise through Hollywood, his Unites States Army training and the issues he dealt with in his personal life. The biggest reveal in the book is that he had an almost lifelong battle with depression.

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Full Answer

The autobiography's first section is dedicated to Sheldon's childhood during the Great Depression. His family was forced to leave his hometown of Chicago and travel the country in search of work. During this period, Sheldon worked nights as a busboy, a clerk and an usher.

The next section of the autobiography focuses on how he pursued his dream of writing in Hollywood. While Sheldon's first official professional writing gig was selling poems for $5 a piece, his first job in Hollywood was as a reader for top Hollywood producer David Selznick. During this time, Sheldon would work through the night writing stories for the movies, which slowly gained him a reputation, but he was eventually forced to train with the Army due to the outbreak of the second World War. He eventually trained as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps in Utah and then was forced to wait in New York for deployment. It was during this time that he wrote librettos for Broadway shows.

The book's biggest reveal is that Sheldon battled with depression and often felt suicidal. Sheldon mentions that he seriously felt suicidal at the age of 17 and also at 31, on the day that he received the Academy Award for his "The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer" screenplay. Sheldon eventually received psychiatric help and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

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