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Gary Indiana
[1950 - ]

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Profile created February 26, 2008
  • Do Everything in the Dark (2003)
    This comic novel follows the various declines and concessions of a number of characters at crossroads in their lives: Arthur and Oliver, a gay couple growing distant on an island off the Spanish coast; Malcolm and Anna, an interracial couple lapsing into heroin addiction; Caroline and Denice, migrs to New Mexico, one of them slipping into insanity; Miles, a formerly successful playwright now blocked; Jesse, a rich sometime actor on an odyssey in North Africa and South America; Edith, a former actress unable to move on; Laurence, a Lacanian psycho-analyst; and the narrator, identified as the author himself. The dispersion of their friends and loved ones causes an emotional undertow, hauntingly captured in Indiana's best novel yet.

  • Depraved Indifference (2002)
    Gary Indiana, a "huge satirical talent" (New York Times), brings us a darkly comic novel fueled by the virtuoso con artist Evangeline Slote and her extravagant life of chicanery and petty crime. She thrives on seduction, manipulation, and the humiliation of everybody in her orbit. And she has a genius for generating chaos and panic among her real and imaginary enemies.

    Until her conviction on slavery charges brought against her by several ungrateful Mexican housemaids, Evangeline, a dead ringer for Elizabeth Taylor, lives in perpetual motion. She and her husband, Warren, a self-made real estate mogul at the end of a long alcoholic decline, breezily shift from Las Vegas to Hawaii to Nassau, torching their homes for insurance money, dabbling in myriad forms of financial fraud, and constantly altering their identities to evade the law.

    When Warren dies, Evangeline is desperate to jump-start yet another new life, bankrolled by Warren's far-flung and hard-to-locate assets, while keeping his death secret from the world at large, but particularly from his "former children," her stepchildren and the beneficiaries of his will. Fortunately, she has an eager accomplice in Devin, her fanatically devoted and easily manipulated son.

    Surrounded by a cohort of burnouts, hapless suckers, and fellow grifters, Evangeline cooks up the ultimate con. To complete the intricate scheme, she will stop at nothing, including murder.

    Depraved Indifference is a dissection of the mind of a charismatic sociopath and a satire of the society that appeases and abets her. With razor-fine insight, Gary Indiana, "one of the most important chroniclers of the modern psyche," (The Guardian) wields his scathing, insightful prose with authority and to devastating effect.

  • Resentment: A Comedy (1997)
    Based on the real-life trial of the Menendez brothers and written with visceral, apocalyptic force, Gary Indiana's critically acclaimed novel, Resentment, is a dark comedy of manners that takes as its subject nothing less than the complete and total dissolution of society and the justice system.

    Seth, a New York journalist, is on assignment in Los Angeles to cover the infamous trial of two adolescent boys accused of blowing away their wealthy parents in their Beverly Hills mansion. The novel follows Seth as he maneuvers among the bizarre chorus of characters that make up modern-day Los Angeles, including a judge with obsessive/compulsive disorder, a witness with Tourette's Syndrome, a taxi driver/screenwriter with
    AIDS, a budding serial killer/gigolo, and a name-dropping society novelist. "Resentment is not only hilariously toxic satire that skewers various gargoyles of Southern California with deadly precision and dark wit," writes Patrick McGrath, "It is also a rattling good story, generated and furiously driven forward by a moral vision that is new to American fiction."

  • Rent Boy (1994)

  • Gone Tomorrow (1993)
    A coolly passionate, fiercely immediate chronicle of a death foretold before the full onslaught of AIDS, Gone Tomorrow is a dangerous and unsettling work of fiction. A brilliantly evocative first-person narrative of decadence by a jaded, disfigured young actor, this novel will inspire admiration for the valiance of its achievement, and provoke controversy for the unflinching honesty of its sensibility.

    It is 1984, amidst the rot and corruption of Colombia, where a serial killer is on the loose. Here, under the aegis of an at once seductive and monstrous film director ("dark, sardonic, and secretive"), an international troupe of actors and technical crew has convened to make a film of vast, if vague, ambition. With preternatural incisiveness and lyric intensity, the narrator dissects their obsessional, impulsive relationships - fired by narcissism, sex, alcohol, and drugs - against an ominous backdrop of cultural dissolution, social anarchy, and political violence.

  • Horse Crazy (1989)

  • Andy Warhol and the Can That Sold the World (2008 release)
    After 32 Soup Cans, neither America nor the art world would ever be the same. Gary Indiana offers a witty and opinionated biography of a momentous work of art--and its deeply troubled creator.
    In the summer of 1962, Andy Warhol unveiled 32 Soup Cans in his first solo exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles--and sent the art world reeling. The responses ran from incredulity to outrage; the poet Taylor Mead described the exhibition as "a brilliant slap in the face to America." The exhibition put Warhol on the map--and transformed American culture forever. Almost single-handedly, Warhol had collapsed the centuries-old distinction between "high" and "low" culture, and created a new and radically modern aesthetic.

    In Andy Warhol and the Can That Sold the World, the dazzlingly versatile critic Gary Indiana draws on interviews with many members of Warhol's Factory, as well as his own personal recollections of Warhol himself, to tell the story of the genesis and impact of this iconic work of art. With energy, wit, and tremendous perspicacity, Indiana recovers the exhilaration and controversy of the Pop Art Revolution--and the brilliant, tormented, and profoundly narcissistic figure at its vanguard.

  • The Schwarzenegger Syndrome: Politics and Celebrity in the Age of Contempt (2005)
    From the California recall circus, in which Gary Coleman, Larry Flynt, and Arianna Huffington vied with over one hundred other candidates to replace a supposedly inept governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger emerged triumphant. How did this onetime bodybuilding champion and gay pinup, with no political experience and a string of mediocre action movies to his name, come to take over the world's fifth-largest economy?

    In The Schwarzenegger Syndrome, celebrated journalist and novelist Gary Indiana makes the case that this tale is a product of a media-soaked culture in which image matters more than substance. The recall process, a parody of direct democracy, gave Schwarzenegger the chance of a lifetime. With so many candidates in the race, he certainly wasn't the most qualified, the most articulate, or the most credibleóbut he was the most famous. And for the majority of Californians, that was enough. A witty and biting travelogue through the intersection of celebrity culture with American political life, The Schwarzenegger Syndrome lays bare the dark implications of Schwarzenegger's rise to power in the Golden State.

  • Hear Us Out: Conversations with Gay Novelists (2003)
    The author of the acclaimed Gay Fiction Speaks brings us new interviews with twelve prominent gay writers who have emerged in the last decade. Hear Us Out demonstrates how in recent decades the canon of gay fiction has developed, diversified, and expanded its audience into the mainstream. Readers will recognize names like Michael Cunningham, whose Pulitzer Prize--winning novel The Hours inspired the hit movie; and others like Christopher Bram, Bernard Cooper, Stephen McCauley, and Matthew Stadler. These accounts explore the vicissitudes of writing on gay male themes in fiction over the last thirty years -- prejudices of the literary marketplace; social and political questions; the impact of AIDS; commonalities between gay male and lesbian fiction... and even some delectable bits of gossip.  Also includes talks with Bernard Cooper, Colm TůibŪn, Dale Peck, Gary Indiana, Jim Grimsley Paul Russell, Peter Cameron, and Philip Hensher

  • SalÚ or The Hundred and Twenty Days of Sodom (2000)
    SalÚ or The Hundred and Twenty Days of Sodom (SalÚ o Le centoventi giornate di Sodoma, 1975) is one of the most controversial and scandalous films ever made. It was Pier Paolo Pasolini's last film; he was murdered shortly after completing it. An adaptation of Sade's vicious masterpiece, but relocated to Fascist-ruled Italy, SalÚ is an unflinching, violent portrayal of sexual cruelty which many find too disturbing to watch.

    But insightful artworks are often disturbing. Beneath the extreme, taboo-breaking surface of SalÚ, Gary Indiana argues, is a deeply penetrating account of human behavior that resonates not only as an account of fascism but as a picture of the corporate, morally compromised world we live in today.

  • Three-Month Fever: The Andrew Cunanan Story (1999)
    In Three Month Fever, his first book-length work of nonfiction, Gary Indiana presents the 1997 killing spree of Andrew Cunanan as a peculiarly contemporary artifact, an alloy in which reality and myth have been inseparably combined. The case generated an astonishing sequence of news reports in which the suspect became a "monster," "serial killer," "high-priced homosexual prostitute," "pervert," "master of disguise," "chameleon," and so forth. In reality, this figure of dread bore little resemblance to the scary sociopath of legend.

    In following Cunanan's "trail of death," Indiana presents a riveting, fully realized portrait of a very bright, even brilliant young man whom people liked. He had charisma, great looks, and money that he spent very freely on others. He was a sympathetic listener with a phenomenal memory for names, faces, and virtually anything he read or saw. But he didn't fit in anywhere, and he couldn't solve the problem of how to live.

    He was trying to do better, to come from a better place, to have a better background. He made up stories about himself that made him feel more like other people or made him seem more interesting than he thought he was.

    He wanted to be loved for himself. The two people he thought might love him for himself didn't, and he ended up killing them. This was probably the last thing he wanted to do.

    Andrew was compulsively social, and as long as he could establish some intercourse with the outside world he could function, even if he had to conceal the ugly secrets he was accumulating. He could hang out in gay bars in Chicago while on the run, come to New York and live in a bathhouse, go to movies, pick people up. Even after the killing in New Jersey, his crimes were below the threshold of most people's awareness.

    But in Miami he found himself trapped, the very places where he expected to "blend in" were informed about who he was and what he looked like. It was isolation he could not deal with--and that led to his total disintegration and the death of Gianni Versace.

    Three Month Fever is a tour de force in which Indiana reveals how Andrew Cunanan fell apart over time and what he might have sounded like in his own mind. Rarely has a writer immersed himself in the mind of a killer with such startling effect. Gary Indiana has created a new form of true crime that is as insightful as it is riveting.

  • Let It Bleed: Essays 1985 - 1995 (1996)
    Discomforting home truths ... acute, brash, bracing.

Short Stories
  • John Waters: Change of Life (2004) by Gary Indiana, Lisa Phillips, and Marvin Heiferman
    Once crowned "The Pope of Trash" by  William Burroughs -- and now hailed as the genius behind the smash-hit Broadway musical Hairspray -- John Waters (b. 1946) is not only a controversial director, but also a powerful, perceptive visual artist. This book, published on the occasion of his first major museum exhibition, surveys his still photographic works made over the past decade, and also features stills from his seldom-seen no-budget films and objects from Waters's personal collection that reflect his fascination with photographic imagery, the mass media, and outrageous expressions of American popular culture.

    Waters's newer photographic work echoes themes that are central to all his work: race, sex, class, family, politics, celebrity, religion, the media, the allure of crime, glamour, and the skewering of cultural symbols and stereotypes. Waters's longevity as a cultural figure reflects his unique ability to tap into our most private attractions to the erotic, perverse, and sleazy, blatantly unleashing thoughts that polite society tries diligently to repress. As he moves from margin to mainstream, Waters's work in films, photography, and performance continues to resonate.

  • Front Pages/Nancy Chunn: Interview With the Artist by Gary Indiana (1997) by Gary Indiana with  Nancy Chunn, Illustrator
    An illustrated novel of the real world created by the acclaimed painter Nancy Chunn. Every day of 1966 Chunn claimed as an artistic canvas the front page of the N.Y. Times. Using rubber stamps & pastels to enhance, eradicate, & alter images & text, she created a commentary -- colorful, intense, visually explosive -- on the year's events & the power of the press. Chunn's treatment of the events we all lived through -- the Presidential campaign, the crash of TWA Flight 800, the wars in Chechnya & Rwanda -- will strike an immediate chord in readers tuned in to the political world awash in images & news. Gary Indiana's interview with the artist provides insights into the artistic process as a means of talking back to power & engaging with the world.

  • Investigations 1987 (1988) by Dan Cameron, Gary Indiana, and Judith Tannenbaum

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