A funny, fierce, imaginative memoir chronicling New York Times bestselling author and Academy Award winner Shirley MacLaine’s remarkable experiences filming Wild Oats in the Canary Islands and the extraordinary memories her time there brought forth of a past life on the lost continent of Atlantis.
Her agent advised her not to get on the plane. The male leads weren’t even cast. The financing was shaky at best. The script had been rewritten countless times. And yet something about Wild Oats lured Shirley MacLaine to the film’s location shoot in the far-off Canary Islands—and straight to the center of one of the most thrilling and paradigm-shifting adventures of her life.
The making of the film reads like a screwball comedy, as the cast and crew face unpredictable daily obstacles with ingenuity, grit, and personal sacrifice. Yet the chaos leads Shirley to a revelatory new understanding of the demise of one of history’s most elusive yet endlessly intriguing places. Scholars have long theorized that Spain’s Canary Islands are the remnants of the mighty lost continent of Atlantis. As the movie set descends into pandemonium, Shirley finds fascinating corollaries between the island’s cataclysmic fate and our own dangerous trajectory. Can we learn the lessons the citizens of Atlantis failed to comprehend?
The answer is borne out of recovered memories from Shirley’s past life on Atlantis and through a series of meditations that reveal the necessity of unfettered imagination when looking for bold new truths, rendering this evocative, irreverent, and honest memoir essential reading for anyone seeking a broader understanding of what it means to be human—both where we came from and where we are going.
Above the Line Whenever a new faculty is developed into being, an old one loses its force and precision.
Shirley MacLaine has appeared in more than fifty films, has been nominated for an Academy Award six times, and received the Oscar for Best Actress in 1984 for Terms of Endearment. She also recently starred in the hit TV show Downton Abbey. A longtime outspoken advocate for civil rights and liberties, she is the author of ten international bestsellers. She lives in Malibu, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
"Above the Line: My Wild Oats Adventure is MacLaine's funny new book about the near screwball comedy of errors making the film about a woman (MacLaine) who accidentally receives a life insurance check for $5 million instead of $50,000 and is persuaded by her friend (Lange) to keep the money and go to the Canary Islands...But Above the Line is about a lot more than filmmaking."
– Los Angeles Times
“The author's insider's portrait of the moviemaking world sparkles. . . MacLaine is wickedly honest about moviemaking, sincere and enthusiastic in describing her beliefs, and welcoming in the skepticism of others—it's all refreshing and fun.”
– Kirkus Reviews
Praise for What If...
“Fun and thoughtful by turns and told in MacLaine’s fiesty, funny voice, this should appeal to fans and doubters alike.”
“The legendary MacLaine will leave you laughing out loud while scratching your head with questions."