A warmly appreciative memoir of sports and family.

ALL THE COLORS CAME OUT

A FATHER, A DAUGHTER, AND A LIFETIME OF LESSONS

A loving daughter recounts her father’s last illness.

Journalist, sports reporter, and memoirist Fagan, currently a feature writer for Sports Illustrated, pays homage to her beloved father, who died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2019. A basketball star at Colgate, Chris Fagan played professionally throughout Europe and shared his love of the sport with his eldest daughter, honing her natural talent. “I excelled in high school,” writes the author, "accepted a scholarship to play at the University of Colorado, and played three years professionally. Basketball, and sports, became the beating heart of my life.” But her commitment waned in college, which, she knew, disappointed her father. She was afraid her sexuality would also disappoint him. She came out as gay to her mother but couldn’t face telling Chris. “Back then, when I played women’s college basketball,” she reflects, “I thought being gay was a failing.” He did not, though, and warmly welcomed Kate’s love—and soon to be wife—into the family. His diagnosis jarred Kate into reassessing her life, career choices, and also “the glass walls I’d built between me and the people I loved the most.” Working at ESPN and living with her wife in Charleston, South Carolina, she felt enormous guilt at being far from her father when he most needed her. In December 2018, she left ESPN and for the next year traveled weekly to her family in upstate New York. In grueling detail, the author portrays the inexorable progress of her father’s illness, the toll it took on his family, and his persistent denial of reality. “I thought he should be like Buddha,” writes the author, “or Morrie Schwartz from Tuesdays With Morrie, or any number of stoic philosophers who embrace their final days with a pure heart, conviction in the world’s oneness flowing from their lips. Yet, she admits, she discovered in the mysteries of his final moments “a steadfast belief in a higher power.”

A warmly appreciative memoir of sports and family.

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-70691-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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GREENLIGHTS

All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

INTO THE WILD

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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