Richard Grayson has been keeping a daily diary compulsively since the summer of 1969, when he was an 18-year-old agoraphobic about to venture out into the world -- or at least the world around him in Brooklyn. His diary, approximately 600 words a day without missing a day since August 1, 1969, now totals over 9 million words, rivaling the longest diaries ever written.
Despite the crackpot nature of his lifelong project, the diarist actually did become a writer of sorts. Starting in the mid-1970s, he began publishing his stories in literary magazines and anthologies, and later in webzines. His articles have appeared in PEOPLE, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE MIAMI HERALD, THE SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC, NEWSDAY, THE NEW YORK POST, THE ORLANDO SENTINEL, and many other newspapers and magazines. He won four state arts council grants for his fiction writing, and in addition to being a lawyer and political activist, has taught writing in colleges in six states since 1975.
ROLLING STONE called Grayson’s first short story collection, WITH HITLER IN NEW YORK (1979) “where avant-garde fiction goes when it becomes stand-up comedy,” and NEWSDAY said, “The reader is dazzled by the swift, witty goings-on.”
LIBRARY JOURNAL called LINCOLN’S DOCTOR’S DOG (1982) “excellent” and said of I BRAKE FOR DELMORE SCHWARTZ (1983) that “Grayson is a born storyteller and standup talker.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW said Grayson’s I SURVIVED CARACAS TRAFFIC (1996) was “entertaining and bizarre” and “consistently, even ingeniously funny.”
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY called Grayson’s THE SILICON VALLEY DIET (2000) “compulsively talky and engagingly disjunctive,” and THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, reviewing AND TO THINK THAT HE KISSED HIM ON LORIMER STREET (2006), said, “Grayson has a fresh, funny voice.”
THE EIGHTIES DIARIES runs nearly 300,000 words, chronicling his life and the lives around him from 1981 to 1989, in Manhattan and Miami and a few places in between.
It includes all of six volumes previously published separately: SOUTH FLORIDA WINTERS, 1981-1984; LATE SPRING IN SUNRISE, 1982; WEST SIDE SUMMERS, 1984-1987; INDIAN SUMMER: PARK SLOPE, 1985; SPRINGTIME IN LAUDERHILL, 1986; and EIGHTIES’ END: AUTUMN, 1987-1989.
Grayson has already published his first book of diary entries, BOY MEETS BROOKLYN: 1969-70, and the next six volumes of the diaries of his late teens and twenties as THE BROOKLYN DIARIES, featuring SUMMER IN BROOKLYN: 1969-1975; WINTER IN BROOKLYN: 1972-73; SPRING IN BROOKLYN, 1975; AUTUMN IN BROOKLYN, 1978; MORE SUMMERS IN BROOKLYN: 1976-1979; and A YEAR IN ROCKAWAY, 1980.
Five volumes of THE NINETIES DIARIES published include SUMMER IN NEW YORK: 1990, LAST SUMMER IN ROCKAWAY: 1991, FIRST FALL IN GAINESVILLE: 1991, SPRING IN GAINESVILLE: 1992-1994, and AUTUMN IN GAINESVILLE: 1994-1996.