The Mystery of Doubt

Spalding Gray interviewed by Francine Prose

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Spalding Gray, a writer, actor, and performer, has created a series of fourteen monologues which have been performed throughout the United States, Europe and Australia, including Sex and Death to the Age 14; Booze, Cars and College Girls; A Personal History of the American Theater; India and After (America); Monster in a Box; Gray’s Anatomy; and the OBIE Award-winning Swimming to Cambodia.

Francine Prose is the author of eleven books of fiction. Her latest book,“Guided Tours of Hell,”will be available in January from Holt/Metropolitan. She interviewed Gray in the Spring of 1996 in New York City.


Tricycle: Do you think of yourself as a Buddhist?

Gray: No. Some people think that I am, I don’t know why. They say “us Buddhists,” or “you Buddhists.” I only got interested in Buddhism when I read that it was supposed to be a philosophy. And I thought, “Well, I’m interested in philosophy.” I got to the point where I could read or discuss the philosophy of Buddhism. But I couldn’t get around the religious construction. As soon as it got to be dogmatic in any way, as soon as the philosophy was no longer open, I’d get claustrophobic.

Tricycle: What was the original attraction?

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