The Journals of Spalding Gray

In works such as Swimming to Cambodia, Spalding Gray turned the raw substance of his life into autobiographical monologues that poignantly balanced existential despair with mordant humor. But his journals, begun when Gray was 25, divulge even more about the man who seemingly left it all onstage, revealing an artist wildly ambivalent about his celebrity, whose protean depression would eventually lead him to commit suicide in 2004. Here, Nell Casey fills in the portrait of the man we came to love, but perhaps never really knew.

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.