Former New York Times drama critic Frank Rich's memoir, "Ghost Light," is on store shelves this month, offering readers a glimpse at the roots of the writer's lifelong passion with theatre.
Not unlike Moss Hart's influential autobiography, "Act One," "Ghost Light" ($24.95, from Random House) explores Rich's boyhood, when troubles at home — including his parents' broken marriage — made him easy prey for the excitement, color and power of the make believe of theatre. Rich, who would eventually become New York's most powerful and respected and/or loathed critic between 1980-1993, was raised in the Washington DC area and caught national tours of musicals and plays at the National Theatre, where he was hired as a ticket taker.
The memoir's title refers to the single light left burning on stages of darkened theatres, warding off ghosts.
Random House also published "Hot Seat," a collection of annotated reviews and essays written by Rich during his Times tenure. It is now available in paperback.
Rich is married to feature writer Alex Witchel and lives in New York City. The book was released Oct. 17 and its official "pub date" is Oct. 23.
— By Kenneth Jones