Gay Talese

Active - 2006 - 2020  |   Genres - Crime, History

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Biography by Nathan Southern

An Ocean City, NJ, native, writer Gay Talese penned articles for The New York Times for a decade, then quit -- allegedly because he objected to the selectivity of the periodical and its hypercritical copy editors. Reflecting irony with a gently satirical undercurrent plus meticulous cadence, Talese's work -- particularly the early journalism -- focused on exploring the various perspectives (ethical and otherwise) that could be drawn, relativistically, from a singular event. Talese made journalism history with his early '80s tome Thy Neighbor's Wife, a multimillion-copy best-seller in which he cross-sectioned the 1970s sexual revolution by reportedly climbing inside of "liberated" attitudes and living them out. Cinematically, Talese's work received a single film adaptation -- the telemovie Honor Thy Father (1973), about the day to day of a "typical" Mafia family. It garnered positive reviews when it premiered. The writer also participated in the 2006 documentary Toots (alongside Frank Gifford and others), about the life and career of Manhattan bartender Toots Shor.

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