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 is the result, in which one of Britain's most amusing and original writers reflects 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 awarded a CBE in the 2005 New Years Honours list. He is the author of over 30 plays, including Butley (1971), The Common Pursuit (1984) and Cell Mates (1995). He has published several volumes of diaries and books about the theatre, including The Smoking Diaries, Enter a Fox and Fat Chance all published by Granta. Simon Gray died in 2008