All Out: A Father and Son Confront the Hard Truths
|Author:||Kevin Newman, Alex Newman|
Can a man with a demanding job really be a good father? All Out is a bracingly honest answer from Emmy and Gemini Award-winning anchorman Kevin Newman and his grown son, Alex. Confessional and provocative, their memoir is also a touching meditation on ambition, absence and family that will resonate with every parent and child who've ever struggled to connect and understand each other.
Kevin Newman wanted to be a family man in an era when fathers are expected to be more engaged than ever before; he also wanted to reach the top of a profession that demands 24/7 commitment. The higher he climbed, the more irreconcilable those aspirations seemed. Meanwhile, his artistic, solitary son, Alex, was wrestling with his own competing ambitions: to be the sporty, popular son his dad wanted, and to be true to himself. Paradoxically, their attempts to live up to expectations—their own, and each other's—were driving them apart. Then, two parallel identity crises forced a reckoning. Kevin reached the summit of American network television, becoming co-host of Good Morning America—where he was instructed to develop a "quarterback" persona and change his accent, mannerisms, personality, hairstyle and everything else that made him Kevin. At the same time, Alex was realizing he was gay, but frantically trying to mask and change that fact. Both felt like failures and hungered for one another's approval, but didn't know how to bridge their differences. Today, a decade later, they retrace their steps (and missteps) to reinventing their relationship and becoming one another's role models for what it means to be a man in our culture. All Out is a moving chronicle of all the ways that fathers and sons misunderstand and disappoint one another—and a powerful reminder that they can become closer not despite their differences, but because of them.
This thoughtful memoir tracks the career of Canadian television news anchor Kevin Newman; the childhood and adolescence of his son, Alex; and the evolution of their relationship. Kevin and Alex write alternating chapters, each referencing roughly the same time period from the writer's own perspective. Kevin's chapters, sometime laborious, deal mostly with his career moves from one television station to another, the tribulations of his jobs, and the personalities with whom he worked. He's the sole breadwinner in the family, his hours are long, and the trade-off is less family time, so he's not entirely present as Alex grapples with bullies and isolation at school, and later, as he tries to figure out his sexual orientation . Alex's chapters describe his childhood, the difficulties of moving to new cities several times during his school years, his fear that he would never be the kind of son Kevin wanted, and the process of accepting his homosexuality and coming out to his family. The alternating narratives add an interesting dimension and depth to the story. This book will appeal to fans of Kevin Newman and, more broadly, to fathers and sons grappling with their own relationships. Agent: Michael Levine, Westwood Creative Artists. (Oct.)
As co-host of Good Morning America, founding anchor of Global National, and currently anchor/correspondent at CTV News, KEVIN NEWMAN has been a familiar face to television viewers in Canada and the US for decades. As an Emmy Award–winning network news correspondent, he has travelled the world, and reported from hotspots such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
ALEX NEWMAN, art director at J. Walter Thompson Toronto, has won numerous awards, including the Gold Medal in the Cannes Young Lions competition, one of the ad industry’s highest honours. In 2014 he was named one of Canada’s top 30 under 30 by Marketing Magazine. He lives in Toronto.