The best-selling author and humorist has kept journals for 36 years. Those diaries have been the jumping-off point for the personal essays that appear in his collections, including Me Talk Pretty One Day and Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls. (Originally broadcast on April 24, 2013.)
On March 7, the actor and monologist Spalding Gray was found dead in the East River in New York. Gray, 62, had been missing for two months. His family believes he committed suicide. Gray was best known for his autobiographical monologues, including Swimming to Cambodia, Monster in a Box and It's a Slippery Slope. Over the last 19 years he was a frequent guest on Fresh Air. We listen back to excerpts of his performances and interviews: Swimming to Cambodia (rebroadcast from Aug. 20, 1985), Monster in a Box (rebroadcast from Sept.
Terry talks with humorist Calvin Trillin and cartoonist Edward Koren from the The New Yorker about the magazine's impending move. The magazine has been at its present location for almost 60 years. Some of the original office's furnishings are going to the Smithsonian.
Monologuist Spalding Gray. In the 80s, Gray went from New York cult status to something approaching fame as more people discovered his autobiographical monologues, as his acting roles increased, and in the wake of his movie, "Swimming To Cambodia." In mid 1986, when Terry and Spalding did this interview, Gray had appeared in the movies "The Killing Fields" and "True Stories," and then had headed out to L.A. to make big bucks as a T-V actor. (This interview originally broadcast on the weekly national version of Fresh Air on 11/4/86).
Book critic John Leonard says that the collected letters of humorist S.J. Perelman reveal a surprising amount of vitriol directed toward a number of notable film and literary figures. But it's not all doom and gloom.
Spalding Gray's career performing humorous, autobiographical monologues has sometimes been a detriment to his attempts to break into film and television acting; no casting director wants to be mentioned in one of Gray's stage shows.
Humorist and reporter Calvin Trillin is staff writer for the New Yorker and a humor columnist at The Nation. Trillin recently joined the show to discuss his love of rich regional and ethnic food which he chronicled in his book "Third Helpings." His New Yorker Magazine series "U. S. Journal" ended in 1982, but a collection of 16 of his stories about murder have been collected in the book "Killings."