The actress finds her own flight plan in Greek drama, French verse, modern fiction that stirs the soul, a poet's letters, and some nakedly hilarious essays.
Books have always been my escape—where I go to bury my nose, hone my senses, or play the emotional tourist in a world of my own choosing. I'm a "head first" person, really. Words are my best expressive tool, my favorite shield, my point of entry. One of my first memories? Hunching in the car with Chariots of the Gods , waiting for my mother to drive me to school.
When I was growing up, books took me away from my life to a solitary place that didn't feel lonely. They celebrated the outcasts, people who sat on the margins of society contemplating their interiors. When adolescence got scary, I turned to books addictively: Franny and Zooey , The Magus , The Idiot —just 50 more pages and I'll call it a day; just 20 more pages and I can have dessert. Books were my cure for a romanticized unhappiness, for the anxiety of impending adulthood. They were all mine, private islands with secret passwords only the worthy could utter.
If I could choose my favorite day, my favorite moment in some perfect dreamscape, I know exactly where I would be: stretched out in bed in the afternoon, knowing that the kids are taking a nap and I've got two more chapters left of some heartbreaking novel, the kind that messes you up for a week.
Jodie Foster appears in Flightplan , which opens in September.
What's on Jodie Foster's bookshelf? Read more!
From the September 2005 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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