The Early Diaries

Simon Gray
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ISBN 9780571254910 Format Paperback
Published 15/07/2010 Length 496 pages

About Book

'There are few things more enjoyable than reading the diaries of Simon Gray.' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

Simon Gray's witty, painful, and acutely observed Early Diaries chronicle the highs and lows of bringing two of his plays to the stage.

An Unnatural Pursuit records the London production of The Common Pursuit, from the nail-biting process of finding a producer through rehearsals to the first-night post-mortem. An enthralling insight into the world of Simon Gray, his working relationship with Harold Pinter-who directed many of his plays-and into the fascinating business of putting on a play.

"A remarkable account of a remarkable experience." Harold Pinter

How's That for Telling 'em, Fat Lady? describes Gray's experiences staging The Common Pursuit and Dog Days in Los Angeles and New York.

'Not only the funniest book ever written about the American theatre, but a biliously accurate memoir of the inescapable beastliness of modern life. It splutters with instantly comic characters... and richest of all these is the self-portrait of the author, whose bellicose melancholy and fortitude is so ripe and raw. For those who dread grease-paint anecdotalism, don't be put off. It's a terrific comic adventure, terrifically told with exquisite ill-temper.' John Osborne, Spectator

  • About Simon Gray

    Simon Gray was born in 1936. He began his writing career with Colmain (1963), the first of five novels, all published by Faber. He is the author of many plays for TV and radio, also films, including the 1987 adaptation of J L Carr's A Month in the Country, and TV films including Running Late, After Pilkington (winner of the Prix Italia) and Emmy Award-winning Unnatural Pursuits. He wrote more than thirty stage plays amongst them Butley and Otherwise Engaged (which both received Evening Standard Awards for Best Play), Close of Play, The Rear Column, Quartermaine's Terms, The Common Pursuit, Hidden Laughter, The Late Middle Classes (winner of the Barclay's Best Play Award), Japes, The Old Masters (his ninth play to be directed by Harold Pinter) and Little Nell, which premiered at the Theatre Royal Bath in 2007, directed by Peter Hall. Little Nell was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2006, and Missing Dates in 2008. In 1991 he was made BAFTA Writer of the Year. His acclaimed works of non-fiction are: An Unnatural Pursuit, How's That for Telling 'Em, Fat Lady?, Fat Chance, Enter a Fox, The Smoking Diaries, The Year of the Jouncer, The Last Cigarette and Coda. He was appointed CBE in the 2005 New Year's Honours for his services to Drama and Literature. Simon Gray died in August 2008.

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