Life Interrupted: The Unfinished Monologue by Spalding Gray
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Overview: As the first decade of the new century was getting underway, Spalding Gray worried that the joy he’d finally found with his wife, stepdaughter, and two sons would fail to fuel his work as a theatrical monologist the way anxiety, conflict, doubt, and various crises once had. Before he got the chance to find out, however, an automobile accident in Ireland left him with the lasting wounds of body and spirit that ultimately led him to take his own life. But as his dear friend novelist Francine Prose notes in this volume’s foreword, “Even when his depression became so severe that he was barely able to hold a simple conversation, he was, miraculously, able to perform.”
As was always his method, Gray began to fashion a new monologue in various workshop settings that would tell the story of the accident and its aftermath. Originally titled Black Spot—for what the locals called the section of highway where Gray’s accident occurred—it began as a series of workshops at P.S. 122 in New York City and eventually became Life Interrupted.Gray died in early 2004, and though never completed, Life Interrupted is rich with brave self-revelation, masterfully acute observations of wonderfully peculiar people, penetrating wit and genuine humor, an irresolvable fascination with life and death, and all the other attributes of Gray’s singular and unmistakable voice.
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir