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What If . . .

What If . . .

A Lifetime of Questions, Speculations, Reasonable Guesses, and a Few Things I Know for Sure

“Sometimes I think that speculation is more fun than knowledge. I just turn the answers into more questions anyway.”

Beloved actress and bestselling author Shirley MacLaine contemplates a host of intriguing topics from the everyday to the esoteric in this all-new collection of ideas and observations, each of which begins with two simple, powerful words: What if?

Taking this as her starting point, Shirley explores a wide range of matters—spiritual and secular, humorous and profound, earthbound and inter-galactic, personal and universal. From big questions about family, friendship, politics, war, and religion, her gaze lifts even higher. A famous trailblazer in making topics such as reincarnation and past-life therapy mainstream, Shirley now takes the lead in opening her mind to crucial questions about the existence of life on other planets, what that means for those of us on Earth, and about the true genetic ancestry of humankind. Along the way, she reflects on joining the talented cast of Downton Abbey, receiving the prestigious American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award, and introducing a new puppy into her formerly one-dog home.

From Shirley’s “What if” questions emerges a striking portrait of a constantly curious woman who thrills to new ideas and discoveries—all while enjoying one of the most extraordinary and enduring careers in Hollywood. As Shirley says, “I like to think that I’m open to exploring anything, always questioning, trying to live free of preconceptions and blind certainties.” What if . . . captures the one and only Shirley MacLaine at her witty, acerbic, imaginative, and irresistible best.
  • Atria Books | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476728605 | 
  • November 2013
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About the Author

Shirley MacLaine
Photo Credit: David Weininger

Shirley MacLaine

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.

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