Michael Ausiello’s intimate memoir, Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies, due September 12 from Atria, manages to be simultaneously heartbreaking, cheeky and comical.
The book chronicles the ups and downs of Ausiello’s 14-year relationship with his husband, Kit Cowan, and focuses on Cowan’s 11-month battle with a rare form of neuroendocrine cancer. Cowan died in February 2015 at the age of 42. Three months later, Ausiello, the founder and editor-in-chief of television news site TVLine.com, began to turn this tragedy into a tribute. “The thought of having to immerse myself back into the worst year of my life was daunting, to say the least,” he says.
But Ausiello, a Roselle Park native, knew the story should be told.
“If people were touched and moved and hopefully inspired by it, and something positive can come out of this shit that [Kit] went through, maybe I could find some peace in all of it,” says Ausiello.
Throughout the book, happy milestones—like the couple’s wedding ceremony at City Hall in New York City—are juxtaposed with difficult doctor’s appointments and conversations about death (some serious and others darkly humorous).
Ausiello, 45, has a love/hate relationship with New Jersey. Atlantic City, Ocean City and Roselle Park, which he describes as “not the easiest town to grow up gay in,” play key roles in his memoir.
“I have mixed memories; some of them are fond,” says Ausiello, who now lives in Manhattan and Los Angeles. “New Jersey is always going to draw me back.”
Hear from Ausiello during the Morristown Festival of Books on October 14.Click here to leave a comment