“Gray comes across as a genuinely noble, striving, seeking soul, felled by a malignant fate. . . . His work deserves to last.” —The New York Times Book Review
Riveting, funny, heartbreaking, at once raw and lyrical: these journals reveal the complexity of the actor/writer who invented the autobiographical monologue and perfected the form in such celebrated works as Swimming to Cambodia.
Here is the first intimate portrait we have of the man behind the charismatic performer who ended his life in 2004: evolving artist, conflicted celebrity, a man struggling for years with depression before finally succumbing to its most desperate impulse. Begun when he was twenty-five, the journals give us Gray’s reflections on his childhood; his craving for success; the downtown New York arts scene of the 1970s; his love affairs, marriages and fatherhood; his travels in Europe and Asia; and throughout, his passion for the theater, where he worked to balance his compulsion to tell all with his terror of having his deepest secrets exposed.
Culled from more than five thousand pages and including interviews with friends, colleagues, lovers, and family, The Journals of Spalding Gray gives us a haunting portrait of a creative genius who we thought had told us everything about himself—until now.
Spalding Gray was born and raised in Rhode Island. A cofounder of the acclaimed New York City theater company the Wooster Group, he appeared on Broadway and in numerous films, including Roland Joffé’s The Killing Fields, David Byrne’s True Stories, Garry Marshall’s Beaches, and as the subject of the 2010 Steven Soderbergh documentary, And Everything Is Going Fine. His monologues include Sex and Death to the Age 14, Swimming to Cambodia, Monster in a Box, Gray’s Anatomy, and It’s a Slippery Slope. He died in 2004.