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The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man

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Fourteen years after his death, the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman made headlines again this year—this time for his unvarnished reflections on fatherhood, celebrity, sex, and power as relayed through his posthumous memoir, The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man. The story of the manuscript itself has the makings of a Hollywood drama: in Newman’s old basement and a storage unit, someone close to the family unearths pages and pages of unpublished transcripts from interviews Newman and his friends completed in the 1980s and early ’90s about his life and character. The completed book, edited with the help of Newman’s daughters, is a refreshingly candid portrait of a man who was haunted by grief, guilt, and self-doubt even as he was worshiped by an adoring public. —Lucy FeldmanB

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