The autobiography-of-sorts of Andr Gregory, an iconic figure in American theater and the star of My Dinner with Andr
This is Not My Memoir tells the life story of Andr Gregory, iconic theatre director, writer, and actor. For the first time, Gregory shares memories from a life lived for art, including stories from the making of My Dinner with Andr. Taking on the dizzying, wondrous nature of a fever dream, This is Not My Memoir includes fantastic and fantastical stories that take the reader from wartime Paris to golden-age Hollywood, from avant-garde theaters to monasteries in India. Along the way we meet Jerzy Grotowski, Helene Weigel, Gregory Peck, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Wallace Shawn, and many other larger-than-life personalities.
This is Not My Memoir is a collaboration between Gregory and Todd London who create a portrait of an artist confronting his later years. Here, too, are the reflections of a man who only recently learned how to love. What does it mean to create art in a world that often places little value on the process of creating it? And what does it mean to confront the process of aging when your greatest work of art may well be your own life?
About the Author
Andr Gregory has been directing in New York for more than half a century. He has collaborated on film versions of his theatre productions with Wallace Shawn, Louis Malle, and Jonathan Demme. The now legendary My Dinner with Andr was created by Gregory, Shawn, and Malle. He is also an actor, writer, teacher, painter, and author of the poetry collection, Bone Songs.
Todd London's books include An Ideal Theater, The Importance of Staying Earnest, and the novel The World's Room. A past winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, he was the inaugural recipient of the Visionary Leadership Award for contributions to the American Theater.
Praise for This Is Not My Memoir
Among the revolutionary stage troupes of the 1960s and 70s . . . none was more inventive or exciting than Andr Gregorys Manhattan Project . . . A candid personal memoir detailing the long career and life experience of the brilliantly accomplished Gregory would certainly be welcome, and this book marvelously fills the bill . . . Gregory is a masterly storyteller and chronicler.
Phillip Lopate, The New York Times Book Review
"As anyone who has seen the 1981 film classic My Dinner with Andr knows, avant-garde theater director and actor Andr Gregory is a wonderful raconteur. His multi-faceted life, full of dramatic ups and downs (and celebrities!), is rich material for memoir."
Heller McAlpin, NPR.org
In this perceptive, nonlinear memoir, director Gregory, who wrote and starred in My Dinner with Andre, offers anecdotal reflections on his artistic life . . . Film lovers and theatergoers will delight in Gregorys reminiscences.
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Andr Gregory is a director, an impresario, a painter, a storyteller, maybe a fabulist, and always an artist. This Is Not My Memoir reveals Andrs sublime talent, his ability to look, to really see, and ultimately just be. My experiences with Andr profoundly shaped my growth as an actor; reading this book is a reminder of the urgency of seeking yourself in your life and your art.
Adventure. Compassion. Hatred. Money. Friendship. Marriage. Theatre. Failure. Beauty. Revelation. Cinema. Success. Death. Creation. And re-creation. This is a remarkable story, of a life so deeply lived.
Reading this book was like having Andr sit by my side and tell me the stories of his life. Heartfelt, honest, insightful and inspiring stories all told by the great story teller himself.
Andr Gregory has lived a life in the theatre filled with wildly uncalculated risks, thrilling successes, dazzling failures (at least as interesting) and endlessly fascinating memories. He is and always has been the boldest hero of our avant-garde.
Andr Gregorys art has always rested on a unique mix of avant-garde audacity and aristocratic charm, not to mention anecdotal flair. All of those elements are irresistibly on display in what is not his autobiography.
True to the title, Andr Gregory hasnt written a memoir, but a confession. I never knew brutal honesty could be so romantic and inspiring. Its a testament to a fearless artist and a fascinating man.
[Andr Gregory is] one of the pioneers of American avant-garde theater. Few artists lives have been as colorful . . . [This is Not My Memoir is] a witty trip through a unique life in the theater.
Andr Gregory has made a career of artistic risks: arbitrary, baffling, passionate, and incredibly funny risks. This Is Not My Memoir is a loving scorecard of how those risks played outand, best of all, when they did not.
[Andr Gregory] recounts his early life as a spectacular swirl of tragedy and privilege, one that sets the stage for his later, almost comical searches for theatrical inspiration across countless borders of country, class, and culture . . . But this book is more than an account of Gregorys plays, roles, or foibles. Rather, its an intimate conversation between Gregory and readers (made possible by theater historian London) that asks us to listen to the ideas behind the words and emerge more thoughtful for it.
Robin Chin Roemer, Library Journal
As a director, actor, writer, teacher, and painter, Gregory has a lot to say, and he says it with style and no little substance. Readers fascinated by theater, film, and the creative process will want to pull up a chair, pour a glass of wine, and feast on the thoughts of one of the theaters great artists.
Carolyn Mulac, Booklist