When he turned sixty-five, the playwright Simon Gray began to keep a diary: not a careful honing of the day's events with a view to posterity but an account of his thoughts as he had them, honestly, turbulently, digressively expressed. The Smoking Diaries was the result, in which one of Britain's most beloved and original writers reflected on a life filled with cigarettes (continuing), alcohol (stopped), several triumphs and many more disasters, shame, adultery, friendship and love. Few diarists have been as frank about themselves, and even fewer as entertaining.
SIMON GRAY was born in England in 1936 and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was the author of over 30 plays, including Butley, The Common Pursuit and Cell Mates, and published several volumes of diaries and books about the theatre, including Enter a Fox and Fat Chance, both published by Granta. He was awarded a CBE in 2005. He died in 2008.