Life Interrupted was the monologue that Spalding Gray was working on when he died in the early winter of 2004. Famous for his often manic and always humorous monologues, Gray was, by the late 1990's, in a happy marriage living in Long Island, doing yoga every day. But his life became unhinged after a devastating car accident in Ireland in 2001, which fractured his skull and crushed his hip. It sent Gray into a deep and unremitting depression. But the fact that Spalding had begun performing a new piece in October of last year gave his friends and family reason to hope that he was emerging from his despair. The monologue recounts the story of the accident and Gray's hospitalization in Ireland with gallows humor: "The following day I slipped into a depression and I didn't know whether to tell the Irish about it, whether they would acknowledge this depression. I mean, does a fish know it's swimming in water? It's indigenous to the rainy culture." The last time Gray performed his work-in-progress "Life Interrupted" at PS 122, he also read a short story called "The Anniversary," about the afternoon he spent with young Theo at the Carousel in Central Park on the tenth anniversary of the day he met his wife, Kathie Russo. Like the unfinished monologue, this piece is also much darker than Gray's early work. The third piece in this collection is a very short, remarkably poignant letter Spalding wrote about the terrorist attacks of September 11, titled "Dear New York City."
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by Linda Spalding
by John Gray
by Richard Selzer
by Sam Harris
by Sam Horn
by Salman Rushdie
by Francine Du Plessix Gray
"This thoughtful production will bring joy and sorrow to Spalding Gray's legion of fans. For those who have found wit and revelation in his monologues over the years, there is the pain of knowing that LIFE INTERRUPTED is the last they will ever hear. Yet Sam Shepard offers the comfort of a finely tuned reading of Gray's final unfinished work. Shepard's performance is knowledgeable and caring, and his voice, rougher than Gray's, sounds as Gray evidently felt while writing this monologue. The two-CD set offers a fine foreword by novelist Francine Prose and the eulogies delivered at Gray's memorial services. Those new to Spalding Gray should begin with his finished works, but all others should order this immediately. A.C.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine"
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