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Pop Literacy

Dec 21, 2022

TV journalist Michael Ausiello wrote a 2017 memoir called Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies that detailed his 13-year relationship with his husband Kit Cowan, who, in a devastating turn, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and, as the title tells us, died. Not to sound jaded, but there are a lot of memoirs about cancer and death. This book, however, is special because it’s so specific and true and willing to get into the gory details—the goriest being the details of their living, breathing, changing relationship. The heartbreaking ending aside, it’s one of the best memoirs you’ll read about real adults trying to make a long-term relationship work. This book is so vulnerable, so raw, so specific, it just knocks you out.

In this episode, we talk with Mike about this book and the movie adaptation that just came out starring Jim Parsons as Ausiello and Ben Aldridge as Kit. The movie lives up to the book, hitting just the right tone between dark humor and heartbreaking pathos. It’s wonderfully realized by director Michael Showalter and rendered for the screen judiciously by writers Marshall Grant and Dan Savage. We discuss how Ausiello came to share such a vulnerable story with the world, what it was like to see Parsons play a version of himself (in a word: weird), and how much we need more authentic stories about queer couples, and about adult people with relatable problems. 

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