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Fame: The Hijacking of Reality


A passionate and critical analysis of the life cycle of Fame, from film producer/director and former worldwide TV star Justine Bateman.

*While supplies last, books ordered through the Akashic Books website will include a bookplate SIGNED by Justine Bateman!

$26.95 $20.21

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

“Wholly riveting.”
New York Times Book Review

“Justine Bateman was famous before selfies replaced autographs, and bags of fan mail gave way to Twitter shitstorms. And here’s the good news: she took notes along the way. Justine steps through the looking glass of her own celebrity, shatters it, and pieces together, beyond the shards and splinters, a reflection of her true self. The transformation is breathtaking. Revelatory and raucous, fascinating and frightening, Fame is a hell of a ride.”
—Michael J. Fox, actor, author of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future

“In a new book, Fame: The Hijacking of Reality, the two-time Emmy nominee takes a raw look at the culture of celebrity, reflecting on her stardom at its dizzying peak—and the ‘disconcerting’ feeling as it began to fade.”
People Magazine

A Book Soup (Los Angeles, CA) best seller, October 15–21, 2018

Included in Astoria Bookshop’s Best Nonfiction of 2018

“As the title Fame: The Hijacking of Reality more than implies, this is a book about the complicated aspects of all things fame.”
Vanity Fair

“Bateman digs into the out-of-control nature of being famous, its psychological aftermath and why we all can’t get enough of it.”
New York Post

“The Family Ties alum has written the rawest, bleakest book on fame you’re ever likely to read. Bateman’s close-up of the celeb experience features vivid encounters with misogyny, painful meditations on aging in Hollywood, and no shortage of theses on social media’s wrath.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Bateman addresses the reader directly, pouring out her thoughts in a rapid-fire, conversational style. (Hunter S. Thompson is saluted in the acknowledgments.) . . . But her jittery delivery suits the material—the manic sugar high of celebrity and its inevitable crash. Bateman takes the reader through her entire fame cycle, from TV megastar, whose first movie role was alongside Julia Roberts, to her quieter life today as a filmmaker. She is as relentless with herself as she is with others.”
Washington Post

“While Bateman’s new book Fame: The Hijacking of Reality (out now) touches on the former teen starlet’s experience in the public eye, it’s not a memoir. Far from it, in fact — it’s instead an intense meditation on the nature of fame, and a glimpse into the repercussions it has on both the individual experiencing it and the society that keeps the concept alive.”
Entertainment Weekly online, from a Q&A with Justine Bateman

“Bateman takes an unsentimental look at the nature of celebrity worship in her first book, Fame: The Hijacking of Reality.”
LA Weekly

“In Justine Bateman’s Fame, a deeply personal book about the Family Ties actor’s experience in the limelight, she reminds us that famous people are exactly that: people.”
The Guardian

“You’ve never read anything quite like this book—don’t call it a memoir—by the actress/director/producer best known for her role on the ‘80s sitcom Family Ties. It’s a meditation on fame (if something so raw and full of expletives can be called a meditation), examining what it does to celebrities—and the rest of us.”

“Now, nearly 30 years after Family Ties went off the air, Bateman is examining the ins and outs of stardom in her new book, Fame: The Hijacking of Reality. In it, she looks at the internal reality-shift of the famous and explores theories on the public’s behavior at each stage of a celebrity’s career. She also gets candid about her own ups and downs with stardom.”
Huffington Post

“What is fame? In 2018, Justine Bateman wrote a book about it. The title of her book is Fame: The Hijacking of Reality. In it, Bateman . . . writes about the experience of becoming extremely famous (and gradually becoming much less famous) and what it was like from the inside . . . Fame is a condition of being widely seen, while also not being seen in particular, human terms. It is a nonreciprocal transaction of interest or attention, on unequal terms of exchange.”
Slate, featured in Tom Scocca’s column “The Decade in Fame”

“Her first book, Fame: The Hijacking of Reality is not a memoir—she hates them—it’s an in-depth look at what fame is and how it affects people.”
Los Angeles Magazine

“An unflinching look at what it’s like to be inside—and outside—that delicate bubble of fame.”
Studio 360 With Kurt Andersen

“In the book, Bateman analyzes Fame, discusses how realities of the Famous shift, presents theories on public behavior at different stages in a famous person’s career, and tells the experiences of other famous performers. Bateman will bring readers through the ins and outs of the emotions of Fame.”
Young Hollywood

“Walking through the familiar trappings of stardom—false friendships, abusive management, trust issues—Bateman underlines with grit the misconceptions of being a luminary which oft lead many to its pursuit.”
Women’s Review of Books

“Director and actress Bateman, known for her roles in Family Ties and Desperate Housewives, ponders the notion of fame, what drives the desire to achieve it, and what it means in American society.”
Publishers Weekly, Fall 2018 Announcements

“Instead of crashing and burning, Bateman has found a life outside the maelstrom, ably described in this sharp, take-no-prisoners book.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Bateman delivers a blisteringly honest analysis of fame and her years in and out of the spotlight . . . Bateman’s impassioned narrative points out to those who relentlessly seek fame that rather than a blessing, it can be a curse.”
Publishers Weekly

“Razor-sharp . . . Rarely has anyone written so honestly about the experience of being famous. In the interest of better understanding the figures we claim to know and love, Bateman’s book is a must-read.”

“Actor and writer Bateman . . . reflects on the toxicity of fame in this brutally honest, seemingly cathartic work . . . At just over 200 pages, Fame still manages to pack a punch.”
Library Journal XPress Reviews

Selected as a Top Pick of the 2018 Louisiana Book Festival by Deep South Magazine

Included in Time Out Miami’s Can’t-Miss Events at the Miami Book Fair

“A passionate, raw and critical analysis of the life cycle of fame.”

Included in Spine Magazine‘s Book Covers We Love

“Another book I enjoyed recently was Fame: The Hijacking of Reality, by the actress Justine Bateman. Her style of writing is very personal, emotional, and kind of hypnotic, with lots of repetition of metaphors and images.”
Fifteen Questions interview with Olivia Block

“Do you know Justine Bateman? She grew up in the public eye . . . I mention Bateman because she just wrote a fabulous book called Fame: The Hijacking of Reality. I strongly suggest you pick up a copy. The woman is an excellent writer who speaks from experience. And no, she’s not my client.”

“This is the most realistic look you can get into being famous and all that goes along with it, both positive and negative.”
HypeBot, one of the Top Business Books of the Decade

“Justine Bateman came to my defense on social media and she sought to reach me personally. And so we started to communicate directly via text and she has been extremely supportive, and she even sent me a copy of her book that is being published as we speak, a book called Fame, which is wonderful. I’ve actually already read it.”
—Geoffrey Owens, in the New York Times

“If you’ve ever dreamed of being famous someday, you need to read this book. If you’ve ever called a celebrity, a ‘has-been’ or a ‘flash in the pan’ on social media, then you really need to read this book. Justine Bateman has crafted the most compelling and comprehensive treatise on the nature of fame that you’re ever likely to read. Through a fearless act of self-examination, which she conducts with the scientific detachment of an anthropologist, Bateman illuminates both the short- and long-term effects of attempting to navigate the labyrinth of celebrity.”
—Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One

“Justine Bateman, in a voice both empathetic and take-no-prisoners, has produced a fascinating look at the psychology of present-day fame. She traces its roots down to humble beginnings in the injured psyche of every human, hoping to find a cure for what ails us all. In these early, heady days of the ascension of social media, in which everyone seems able to fulfill the Warholian dictum of fifteen minutes, Bateman casts a sober, never overly serious eye on today’s media landscape and emerges without cynicism on the hard-won side of love and acceptance.”
—David Duchovny, actor, author of Miss Subways

“I thought my ideas about fame were intractable until Justine Bateman took them apart with her relentlessly truthful and engrossing investigation. She mines the subject with bracing honesty, and by including herself in the whole experiment she makes it hard for the reader to avoid examining their own ego, their own social agenda. Justine’s voice is fresh: she throws down with a free-associating slam that you won’t expect but can identify with, and the searching and sometimes profane rant that accompanies each idea is one you can’t help but trust. She distills it all into the questions: Why do we value this person over that one? And why do we ultimately resent the ones we overvalue? An honest and eminently quotable rumination by a qualified and intellectually formidable source.”
—Mary-Louise Parker, actress, author of Dear Mr. You

“A smart, unflinching, touching, riveting, one-of-a-kind hybrid of memoir and cultural analysis. Fame in its contemporary form is strange and powerful and deeply American: so is Fame.”
—Kurt Andersen, author of Fantasyland

“A raw look into stardom and how notoriety got to now with a style that would make Bukowski proud. Justine gives us a vivid, sharp and forceful read.”
—Jerry O’Connell, actor

“Justine Bateman’s new book Fame grabs you by the lapels. A raw, raging blast of honesty aimed squarely at what ‘being famous’ is, does, and means; the absurd gravity of it, and the myriad public, personal, and private distortions it precipitates. This is a bracing read.”
—Jon Cryer, actor and author of So That Happened

“Bateman mixes personal stories of the hazards of experiencing fame at an early age with a sociologist’s eye for what makes Americans so fascinated with celebrity, and delivers it all in a rat-a-tat style that makes you feel like you are right there with her on the red carpet.”
—Rachel Dratch, author of Girl Walks into a Bar

“I met Justine Bateman in 1988, when she was one of the most famous women in the world. For over three decades we have walked through this life together. Fame is a socio–pop culture frontline must-read, told by one of the funniest, most powerful and elevated women I have ever met in my life.”
—Kelly Cutrone, fashion publicist, author of If You Have to Cry, Go Outside


*While supplies last, books ordered through the Akashic Books website will include a bookplate SIGNED by Justine Bateman!

Entertainment shows, magazines, websites, and other channels continuously report the latest sightings, heartbreaks, and triumphs of the famous to a seemingly insatiable public. Millions of people go to enormous lengths to achieve Fame. Fame is woven into our lives in ways that may have been unimaginable in years past.

And yet, is Fame even real? Contrary to tangible realities, Fame is one of those “realities” that we, as a society, have made. Why is that, and what is it about Fame that drives us to spend so much time, money, and focus to create the framework that maintains its health?

Mining decades of experience, writer, director, producer, and actress Justine Bateman writes a visceral, intimate look at the experience of Fame. Combining the internal reality-shift of the famous, theories on the public’s behaviors at each stage of a famous person’s career, and the experiences of other famous performers, Bateman takes the reader inside and outside the emotions of Fame. The book includes twenty-four color photographs to highlight her analysis.

Read an original piece by Justine Bateman at Cavoo and at NBC.com’s Think.

Read excerpts from Fame at Slate, Parade, and DAME Magazine.

Read interviews with Justine Bateman at VICEVanity Fair, People Magazine, Spine Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly online.

Listen to interviews with Justine Bateman at CBC’s qThe Moment with Brian Koppelman; Studio 360; KCRW’s The BusinessThe Lyons Den; BUST’s PopTarts podcast, The Carson PodcastThe Adam Carolla Show Mohr Stories, and on KPFA’s Bookwaves.

Watch an interview with Justine Bateman at C-SPAN Book TV.

Watch an interview with Justine Bateman on Megyn Kelly Today:

Watch an interview with Justine Bateman at Larry King Now


Watch an interview with Justine Bateman at AOL’s Build

Watch an interview with Justine Bateman on KTLA Morning News:

Watch an interview with Justine Bateman on Facebook Watch’s That Moment When:

Book Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Published: 10/2/18
  • IBSN: 9781617756603
  • e-IBSN: 9781617756955


JUSTINE BATEMAN is a writer/director/producer with an impressive, decades-long résumé in film and TV that includes a Golden Globe nomination and two Emmy nominations. Bateman wrote and produced her directorial film short debut, Five Minutes, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival and was chosen by seven more festivals, including the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Violet, Bateman’s critically acclaimed directorial feature film debut of her own script, stars Olivia Munn, Luke Bracey, and Justin Theroux, and was an official selection at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival and the 2021 Toronto Film Festival. Her best-selling first book, Fame: The Hijacking of Reality, was published in 2018 by Akashic. Face: One Square Foot of Skin is her latest work.

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