Author Talk: Melissa Newman's "Head Over Heels" (In-Person)

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Program Description


Please note that this program will be in-person at the Noah Webster Library.

On the heels of last fall’s posthumously published memoir from Paul Newman and the HBO Max docuseries on Newman and his wife, Joanne Woodward, The Last Movie Stars, comes an extraordinary and deeply personal new look inside their private life affectionately curated by their daughter Melissa Newman. In the lush, illustrated book, HEAD OVER HEELS: Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman: A Love Affair in Words and Pictures (Little, Brown Voracious; October 10, 2023; $50 Hardcover), Newman offers us a fresh perspective on these storied legends, putting them both front and center.

Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman became not only movie stars and stage actors, but also artistic collaborators, political activists, and philanthropists whose legacies are expansive and enduringly modern. They are one of America's most indelibly iconic couples and while their love story wasn’t always a fairytale, it is the stuff of Hollywood legend.
With 120+ photos of Paul and Joanne together, including many that have never been published, compiled in a luxurious 10”x12” hardcover, the book will be the perfect gift for anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, and for anyone wanting to celebrate the enduring power of love. Melissa Newman purchased her childhood home from her parents: “In every closet are bags and boxes, layers of ephemera stretching back to the Cretaceous era. Theirs, mine, a sea of words and images.” The book is chock full of handwritten love notes, snapshots, letters, and family treasures that have never been released—and offers revelatory and intimate insights into the private lives of these towering figures in American public life.

The images are taken by some of the most celebrated photographers of our time: Richard Avedon, Sid Avery, Ralph Crane, Bruce Davidson, John Engstead, Leo Fuchs, Milton H. Greene, Philippe Halsman, John R. Hamilton, Leonard McCombe, Gordon Parks, Sanford Roth, Roy Schatt, Lawrence Schiller, Sam Shaw, Bradley Smith, and David Sutton—plus family snapshots capturing candid and telling moments. The photos beautifully illuminate the connection between two complex, passionate artists who opened their hearts and minds to each other for over half a century.

Not only will lifelong fans of Paul and Joanne have their love affair with the couple rekindled, but a whole new generation of fans are poised to be drawn into a love affair with Hollywood’s golden couple. This book is Melissa's heartfelt gift to her parents—and to all of us.

Melissa Newman is an artist, teacher, singer, and writer, based in Westport Connecticut. She is the daughter of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.