SUSAN'S STORY: An Autobiographical Account of My Struggle with Dyslexia by Susan Hampshire

SUSAN'S STORY: An Autobiographical Account of My Struggle with Dyslexia

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Those who remember Susan Hampshire as Fleur in The Forsyte Saga (and various other BBC heroines) may be interested to learn how a gifted actress copes with the reading disability known as dyslexia. As a child, Hampshire was luckier than most: she attended a school run by her mother and her older sisters, who protected her from ridicule and gave her a chance to shine in the performing arts. Because she was barely able to read, her career choices were limited: in her late teens she chose acting, for its strong visual and vocal components. But her unreliable reading skills tripped her up at audition after audition, and it was only by luck that she landed enough roles to launch a career. Eventually she developed her own pictorial code for studying scripts (tape recordings, she felt, might subconsciously influence her own performance). Only in recent years, however, did she gain the courage to admit her disability publicly and work for dyslexia causes. By way of background, Hampshire tells a little about the prevalence and nature of dyslexia. But her chronicle is neither as informative nor as affecting as Eileen Simpson's Reversals (1979), so its appeal will be largely limited to the Masterpiece Theater audience and others struck by the handicapped-actress aspect.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's