Unfinished A memoir

Priyanka Chopra

Book - 2021

The popular actress reveals her journey of self-discovery through her childhood in India, her teenage years in the United States, her success in beauty competitions, the challenges and triumphs of her acting career, and her marriage to Nick Jonas.

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2nd Floor 791.43028092/Chopra Checked In
New York : Ballantine Books [2021]
Main Author
Priyanka Chopra (author)
First edition
Physical Description
xi, 241 pages, 24 unnumbered leaves of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
  • Preface
  • 1. Monaco Biscuits and Ladakhi Tea
  • 2. Like Water
  • 3. Nomad
  • 4. Teen to Queen
  • 5. Top of the World
  • 6. Desi Girl
  • 7. Tinseltown
  • 8. Grief
  • 9. When You Know, You Know
  • 10. Shaadi
  • 11. Home
Review by Booklist Review

Actor and producer Chopra Jonas' memoir captures the excitement of an Indian teenager launched into fame and moving rapidly from a national to an international stage. She writes of growing up in a fairly typical Indian middle-class home with professional aspirations common in her milieu. Her winning a beauty pageant, which her mom and brother signed her up for, changed the course of her life, leading to unusual opportunities and challenges. In tracing her career milestones as a Bollywood actor and then as the first Indian-born lead in an American TV series, Quantico, Chopra Jonas weaves in her personal struggles and family tragedies, thus revealing the depth behind her self-assurance and resilience. Her fans will be thrilled to learn the details of her success and her romance with singer and actor Nick Jonas, culminating in a glamorous wedding in Rajasthan in 2018. At 38, she sees this moment as a time of reflection, and, true to her commitment as a global ambassador for UNICEF, Chopra Jonas spotlights such issues such as girls' education and the conditions of children in refugee camps around the world. Women in Focus: The 19th in 2020

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

An internationally famous actor, singer, and producer takes stock of her life. The daughter of army physicians, Chopra Jonas grew up on military bases throughout India. "Reinvention, adjusting and acclimatizing to new environments, overcoming fear of new places by opening up to possibility--these are some of the principles by which I have lived my life," she writes. One of the most traumatic tests of her adaptability occurred when she was sent to boarding school at the age of 7; she writes about how she felt abandoned, lonely, and afraid. However, the independence she developed served her well later: In 1995, she embarked on her "first trip abroad," to visit relatives in Iowa. She decided to stay in the U.S. for high school, where she reveled in the freedom of American teenage culture, but she returned to India after a few years. Although Chopra Jonas aspired to become an aeronautical engineer, her life changed dramatically when her mother submitted her photos to a Miss India World contest. To her astonishment, she won the title and went on to become Miss World in 2000. Movie offers followed: For almost a decade, she made four films per year, working long days and devoting herself to learning how to act and how to navigate the patriarchal Bollywood industry. Making the transition to American movies was challenging both professionally and emotionally, and she was shocked when she received racist hate mail and tweets. Nevertheless, her career in the U.S. took off when she was offered the lead role in the series Quantico. The author recounts her depression after her father's death, her whirlwind romance with Nick Jonas, and her humanitarian work as a global ambassador for UNICEF and as an advocate for children and girls. She is committed, she writes, "to get the attention of people and direct it to conditions or situations that cry out for change." A lively memoir from a hardworking entertainer. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Preface I'm sitting in a meditative pose. In Sanskrit it's called Sukhasana , or "Happy Pose." Spine straight, shins crossed, shoulders pulled back, and chest pulled upward, I'm taking slow, focused breaths to bring all my attention to my center. The slow breathing calms my mind so that I can now tackle life's challenges. Kidding. I am, in reality, likely sitting on the set of my latest film project, or on a plane, or slumped in a hair and makeup chair. My breathing is erratic from the four espresso shots I've inhaled in the past half hour while simultaneously wolfing down some form of comfort food that's probably not the healthiest of options. (Doritos, anyone?) My overbooked schedule glares at me with seventeen emails that are marked Urgent! Requires Immediate Attention! And my phone is buzzing like a bumblebee on ecstasy. I am running on IST (Indian Stretchable Time)--I'm late--and I am in no frame of mind to make sense of my day, let alone my life. How is this possible when I come from mystical India, the land of yoga, meditation, the Bhagavad Gita, and one of the most learned civilizations of the world? Why am I unable to invoke the infinite wisdom of my ancestors to calm my raging mind when so many people around the world have embraced the teachings of my great country and managed to incorporate its lessons of peace, love, and happiness quite effectively into their lives? Well, I am a product of traditional India and its ancient wisdom, and modern India and its urban bustle. My upbringing was always an amalgamation of the two Indias, and, just as much, of East and West. My mom was a fan of Elvis and the Doors; my dad listened to Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar. My mom loves London, theater, art, and nightlife; my dad loved taking road trips through our subcontinent and sampling the street food at every opportunity. I lived in small towns in northern India for much of my childhood, and I also lived in the United States for three years in my teens. Traditional and modern. East and West. There wasn't necessarily a plan to raise me as a blend of those influences, but here I am, someone who calls both Mumbai and Los Angeles home, who works comfortably in India, America, and plenty of countries in between, and whose style and passion reflect that global mindset. The cultural mash-up invigorates me, is important to me, because I believe we can all learn from one another. That we all need to learn from one another. Cue my husband, Nick. As I embark on this new chapter of life with him, it seems like a good time to take stock. It's probably the first time as an adult that I've felt the desire to look back and reflect on how I've gotten to this moment. The first time since my life took a huge, crazy turn more than twenty years ago and I became a public person. Part of this desire to be introspective comes with maturity, no doubt. And I think it's safe to say that part of it came along with Nick, a mature, introspective individual if ever there was one. Looking back, I remember how I felt as my seventeen-year-old self, a small-town girl who exploded into India's awareness back in January of 2000 when I was crowned Miss India World. I had no idea what to do with this unexpected widespread attention or how to prepare for what was next--representing my country on the global stage in the Miss World pageant. My family had no idea, either, because we weren't a "pageant" family or an "entertainment" family. Far from it; my parents were both doctors. With their love, support, and encouragement, I decided that I would do my best to learn from each new situation I found myself in, to throw myself into it wholeheartedly and work as hard as I knew how. Sink or swim. And if there was a choice, I was always going to do my damnedest to swim. Admittedly, sometimes my strategy has been flawed or I've haven't learned fast enough, but whatever my fail-ures, they haven't been for lack of effort. I have always felt that life is a solitary journey, that we are each on a train, riding through our hours, our days, our years. We get on alone, we leave alone, and the decisions we make as we travel on the train are our responsibility alone. Along the way, different people--the family we are born to and the family we choose, the friends we meet, those we come to love and who come to love us--get on and off the cars of our train. We are travelers, always moving, always in flux, and so are our fellow passengers. Our time riding together is fleeting, but it's everything--because the time together is what brings us love, joy, connection. Which is why I'm so grateful to be right here, right now, reflecting with you on my unfinished journey. I hope that whatever I have learned along the way, from fellow passengers, from my efforts and my own mistakes, can contribute to your journey, too. Because as I have discovered, if you're willing to be a student of life, the possibilities are endless. Priyanka Excerpted from Unfinished: A Memoir by Priyanka Chopra Jonas All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.