Simon, Neil. “Neil Simon’s Memoirs, Simon and Schuster, 2016.
The Complete Memoirs
We now have the complete memoirs of playwright Neil Simon with a new introduction and afterword. This omnibus edition combines Neil Simon’s two memoirs, “Rewrites” and “The Play Goes On” into one volume that spans a fifty-year career in theater, television, and film. “Rewrites” takes us with Simon through his first love, his first play, and his first brush with failure. We read the humor of growing up in Washington Heights (which was the inspiration for his play “Brighton Beach Memoirs”) where, even with his parents’ shaky marriage and many separations, he learned to see the funny side of family. Simon wonderfully describes his marriage to his beloved wife Joan and lucidly shares his pain of losing her to cancer. “The Play Goes On” continues his life’s story and we read about his winning the Pulitzer Prize along with his with humor and insights on his life and meteoric career.
Neil Simon’s collected memoirs also chronicle the history of modern entertainment over the last fifty years through the eyes of a man who started life as the son of a garment salesman and became a greatest and successful American playwright.