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.
But Grayson is not merely an eccentric with graphomania. His nonfiction has appeared in PEOPLE, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE ORLANDO SENTINEL, THE SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC, THE NEW YORK POST and numerous other periodicals.
ROLLING STONE called Grayson’s first short story collection, WITH HITLER IN NEW YORK, published in 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.”
Grayson’s other short story collections have also received acclaim. 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”; KIRKUS DISCOVERIES termed Grayson “an audacious and wickedly smart comedic writer” in its review of HIGHLY IRREGULAR STORIES (2005); and THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, reviewing AND TO THINK THAT HE KISSED HIM ON LORIMER STREET (2006), said, “Grayson has a fresh, funny voice.”
Grayson’s nineteenth compilation of diary entries, Wanderyear, takes place between mid-1997 and mid-1998, when he quits his job as a staff attorney in social policy at a University of Florida law school think tank to move from place to place – South Florida, Brooklyn, Silicon Valley, Wyoming, Long Island, New Orleans, and suburban Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Grayson has published the first seven volumes of the diaries of his late teens and twenties as THE BROOKLYN DIARIES, featuring BOY IN BROOKLYN, 1969-1970; 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.
The second six volumes of his diaries have been published as THE EIGHTIES DIARIES, which include 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.
WANDERYEAR: 1997-1998 is the sixth volume of THE NINETIES DIARIES, following 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.The book is also available on Lulu and on Scribd for free online reading.