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Rough Draft: A Memoir (Hardcover)
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“It’s a hell of a story.” —The New York Times
“A stunning and revelatory memoir.” —Oprah Daily
From MSNBC anchor and New York Times bestselling author Katy Tur, a shocking and deeply personal memoir about a life spent chasing the news.
“By the time I was two years old, I knew to yell ‘Story! Story!’ at the squawks of my parents’ police scanner. By four, I could hold a microphone and babble my way through a kiddie news report. By the time I was in high school, though, my parents had lost it all. Their marriage. Their careers. Their reputations.”
When a box from her mother showed up on Katy Tur’s doorstep, months into the pandemic and just as she learned she was pregnant with her second child, she didn’t know what to expect. The box contained thousands of hours of video—the work of her pioneering helicopter journalist parents. They grew rich and famous for their aerial coverage of Madonna and Sean Penn’s secret wedding, the Reginald Denny beating in the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and O.J. Simpson’s notorious run in the white Bronco. To Tur, these family videos were an inheritance of sorts, and a reminder of who she was before her own breakout success as a reporter.
In Rough Draft, Tur writes about her eccentric and volatile California childhood, punctuated by forest fires, earthquakes, and police chases—all seen from a thousand feet in the air. She recounts her complicated relationship with a father who was magnetic, ambitious, and, at times, frightening. And she charts her own survival from local reporter to globe-trotting foreign correspondent, running from her past. Tur also opens up for the first time about her struggles with burnout and impostor syndrome, her stumbles in the anchor chair, and her relationship with CBS Mornings anchor Tony Dokoupil (who quite possibly had a crazier childhood than she did).
Intimate and captivating, Rough Draft explores the gift and curse of family legacy, examines the roles and responsibilities of the news, and asks the question: To what extent do we each get to write our own story?
About the Author
Katy Tur is the anchor of Katy Tur Reports on MSNBC, a correspondent for NBC News, and the author of the New York Times bestseller Unbelievable. Tur is the recipient of a 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. She lives in New York City.
"If journalism is the 'first rough draft of history' then Tur's memoir is a stunning reminder that journalists are not only providing us with the draft, they are living its revision alongside us."
—Brooklyn Daily Eagle
“It's a hell of a story.”
— New York Times Book Review
“A stunning and revelatory memoir.”
“If you love the kind of true stories that make you say ‘omg, how is this real,’ look no further.”
"More provocative than Tur's first book... a vivid account of how one woman’s inheritance propelled her from a tumultuous childhood to a high-profile perch in television journalism."
—The Washington Post
“I don’t think I’ve ever read an account as personal... I really think people are going to love reading this book: for journalism, for life, for families.”
—Trevor Noah, The Daily Show
"Super raw and fascinating. The story Katy Tur tells in Rough Draft is so unusual but also resonant to anyone with a family."
“She goes all the way there... I see a movie here.”
– Gayle King, host of CBS Mornings
“[Rough Draft] is so good... so heroic.”
– Nicole Wallace, MSNBC host of Deadline: White House
– Daily Mail