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Gary Indiana Papers

Call Number



1976-2005, inclusive


Indiana, Gary


13 Linear Feet
(27 boxes)

Language of Materials

English .


The Gary Indiana Papers are comprised of materials which document the literary career of Gary Indiana. Collection materials include manuscripts, galleys, diaries, notebooks, correspondence, contracts, postcards, flyers, theater programs, periodical and newspaper clippings, photographs, collages, and posters.

Biographical Note

Gary Indiana (real name Gary Hoisington) was born in 1950 and brought up in Derry, New Hampshire. He and an older brother were raised by his parents, Cecile and Carol Hoisington. In his twenties, he moved to Berkeley and changed his name to Indiana. After two years, Indiana relocated to Boston, where he worked in various capacities before returning to California, this time to Los Angeles where he wrote for punk zines. After a 1974 car accident, he decided to leave for New York, where he became immersed in the downtown arts scene.

In the 1980s, Indiana wrote for Artforum and Art in America, among other magazines. He also acted in a number of German and American films, notably working with Dieter Schidor and other members of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's circle. From 1984 onward, Indiana wrote art criticism for the Village Voice, establishing the uncompromising journalistic style that would become his trademark. During this time he was also very active in the theater, working closely with Bill Rice and Taylor Mead, among others, in both his own plays and others'. Notable plays by Indiana include Alligator Girls Go to College (1979), Curse of the Dog People (1980), Phantoms of Louisiana (1981), The Roman Polanski Story (1981), and Roy Cohn/Jack Smith (1992).

In the late '80s, Indiana published two short story collections, Scar Tissue and Other Stories (1987) and White Trash Boulevard (1988), immediately followed by his first novel, Horse Crazy (1989). In addition to his critical writing, Indiana published novels throughout the 1990s, often writing fictionalized accounts of real-life murder cases like that of Andrew Cunanan in 1999's Three Month Fever.

Indiana continues to publish fiction work and write for a variety of publications on art, film, literature, and politics. The Guardian has called Indiana "one of the most important chroniclers of the American psyche."

Missing Title

  1. Shanghai (1983)
  2. The Role of My Family in the World Revolution (1985)
  3. Scar Tissue and Other Stories (1987)
  4. White Trash Boulevard (1988)
  5. Horse Crazy (1989)
  6. Gone Tomorrow (1993)
  7. Rent Boy (1994)
  8. Living with the Animals (1995) (Ed. by Gary Indiana)
  9. Let It Bleed: Essays 1985-1995 (1996)
  10. Resentment: A Comedy (1997)
  11. Three Month Fever: The Andrew Cunanan Story (1999)
  12. Salò or The 120 Days of Sodom (2000)
  13. Depraved Indifference (2002)
  14. Do Everything in the Dark (2003)
  15. The Schwarzenegger Syndrome: Politics and Celebrity in the Age of Contempt (2005)

Missing Title

  1. Custody (1979)
  2. Alligator Girls Go To College (1979)
  3. Curse of the Dog People (1980)
  4. The Dark Side of Anne Flaubert (1980)
  5. Phantoms of Louisiana (1981)
  6. The Roman Polanski Story (1981)
  7. Return of the Dog People (1984)
  8. Roy Cohn (1992)
  9. Who Killed Rex the Wonder Dog?
  10. A Thwarted Sense of Occasion


Materials have been arranged in series according to material formats or the types of writing represented.

Within each series, materials are arranged chronologically, when material is dated. In some cases, which are indicated, material organized by Indiana has retained its original organization.

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Manuscripts
  2. Series II: Journals
  3. Series III: Correpsondence and Legal Documents
  4. Series IV: Flyers and Visual Materials
  5. Series V: Printed Materials
  6. Series VI: Clippings
  7. Series VII: Photography and Snapshots
  8. Oversize Items

Scope and Content Note

The Gary Indiana Papers are comprised of manuscripts, galleys, diaries, notebooks, correspondence, contracts, postcards, flyers, theater programs, periodical and news clippings, magazines, published materials, snapshots, photographs, collages, and posters.


SERIES I: Manuscripts

Subseries A contains manuscripts for novels and fiction writing, as well as novel proposals. Novel manuscripts include Rent Boy, partial drafts of Gone Tomorrow, and the unpublished Desert Shore. Short fiction manuscripts include The Role of My Family in the World Revolution, a fragment of Shanghai, and numerous unpublished pieces. Galley proofs for White Trash Boulevard are located in the Oversize series [Folder 11].

Subseries B contains theatrical and cinematic manuscripts. Some theatrical manuscripts are actors' typescripts for Indiana's productions. Also included is a script not by Indiana for Dieter Schidor's 1985 film Cold in Columbia, in which Indiana appeared.

Subseries C contains poetry and lyrics written and sung for the band The Boners. Some poetry is dated by Indiana. Some prose is also included as part of a grouping created and dated by Indiana.

Subseries D contains critical essays, interview notes, and some miscellaneous manuscript materials. Interview notes include Chantal Akerman, David Lynch, and Carol Ross. Also included is the checklist for Indiana's 2002 photography retrospective "Extinction" at American Fine Arts, Co. in New York City.

SERIES II: Journals

Subseries A contains drafts and notes for novels and essays, personal journals, travel diaries, and assorted research notes. The dated notebooks range from 1981 to 2003.

Subseries B contains collage notebooks and sketchbooks, some of which includes Indiana's photography.

SERIES III: Correspondence and Legal Documents

The correspondence series consists of personal and professional correspondence. Personal correspondence includes letters and postcards from figures including musician and poet Patti Smith and artist Valie Export, among others. Professional correspondence consists of publishing contracts and rights agreements with HarperCollins and other publishing companies. Also included is the report of the court examination of Indiana in his lawsuit against The Bar. Some postcard correspondence is contained in the Flyers and Visual Materials Series [Series IVA] as part of Indiana's flyer and program scrapbook. A poster from the Patti Smith correspondence is located in the Oversize series.

SERIES IV: Flyers and Visual Materials

Subseries A consists of the contents of a scrapbook, organized by Indiana, of programs and flyers for events or performances by himself and others. Some postcard correspondence is also included in the scrapbook. Also included are materials not associated with this scrapbook: one folder of event flyers and a flyer for the 1980 Times Square Show, the latter being in the Oversize series [Folder 124].

Subseries B consists of assorted visual materials, including publication artwork for several of Indiana's novels, photographs of work by Bill Rice, a calendar entitled "Men of The Bar," collage materials and miscellaneous artwork.

SERIES V: Printed Materials

This series consists of published materials, including books, theatre programs, and periodicals, many of which include Indiana's writing or writing about Indiana. One issue of Night (no. 52) has been moved to the Oversize series [Folder 161].

SERIES VI: Clippings

Subseries A consists of clippings of art criticism, essays, and other items written by Indiana. This includes substantial criticism written for the Village Voice, Artforum, and Art in America, among other publications.

Subseries B consists of clippings of writing about Indiana or reviews of his published works.

Subseries C consists of clippings used as research materials, including those regarding Henri Cartier-Bresson, Witold Gombrowicz, and Valie Export, among others.

SERIES VII: Photography

Subseries A contains Indiana's 4 x 5 snapshots, including documentation of the Toronto Film Festival premiere of David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch, The Dazzling 1987 New York Flower Show, trips to Latin America, downtown New York City street scenes, and a New York gallery opening and party. Also included are evidence photos from the Andrew Cunanan case, the basis for Indiana's novel Three Month Fever.

Subseres B contains 5 x 7 snapshots of a wide array of subjects, including trips to Latin America, Cuba, India, and many regions of the United States. Also included are photos of a reading by actors Taylor Mead and Bill Rice, Indiana and others, an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, California, and photos of The Bishop's School in La Jolla, from which Andrew Cunanan graduated in 1987. Figures documented prominently include Bill Rice, Taylor Mead, and author William S. Burroughs.

Subseries C contains Indiana's 8.5 x 11 photo series, retaining his original order and organization. Major series include travel photos, nudes, cemetery photos, digital collage work by Indiana, and contact sheets from the film Bangkok Talkie and the play The Roman Polanski Story.

Subseres D contains photography of varying sizes maintained in individual groupings created and sometimes labeled by Indiana.

Subseries E consists of two boxes of photographic slides, retaining Indiana's organization. Also included are several photographic negatives and one 4 x 5" transparency.

Subseries F contains oversize photographic items, including photos bearing the copyright of Digne Meller Marcowicz which mainly relate to Werner Schroeter and German theater productions.


Oversize items comprise posters for a 2004 speaking date and the plays Alligator Girls Go to College and The Roman Polanski Story, and several photographic works. Also included are galley proofs of White Trash Boulevard from the Manuscripts series, and a signed Patti Smith poster entitled "You Can't Say 'Fuck' in Radio Free America," removed from her personal correspondence with Indiana. A 2005 issue of Night has been removed from the Printed Materials series.

An oversize poster for the 1980 Times Square Show, removed from the Flyers series, is located in the Mapcase.

Access Restrictions

Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections,, 212-998-2596.

Use Restrictions

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections,, 212-998-2596.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); The Gary Indiana Papers; MSS 168; box number; folder number; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.


The Gary Indiana Papers were purchased from Gary Indiana in 2005.

Separated Material

These materials have been separated from the archive and individually catalogued into the Downtown Book and Periodical Collection in Fales.

Missing Title

  1. Aperture no. 127 (Spring 1992).
  2. Artext no. 77 (Summer 2002).
  3. Gober, Robert and Christopher Wool. A Project. April 1988.
  4. Johnson, Larry. Larry Johnson. 1996.
  5. Lehndorff, Vera and Holger Trulzsch. Oxydationen. 1985.
  6. Purple Fashion no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2004).
  7. Purple Fashion no. 3 (Spring/Summer 2005).
  8. The Purple Journal no. 1 (Summer 2004). English version.
  9. The Purple Journal no. 2 (Fall 2004). English version.
  10. Le Purple Journal no. 2 (Fall 2004). French version.
  11. The Purple Journal no. 3 (Winter 2005). English version.
  12. Le Purple Journal no. 3 (Winter 2005). French version.
  13. Le Purple Journal no. 4 (Spring 2005). French version.
  14. The Purple Journal no. 5 (Summer 2005). English version.
  15. Le Purple Journal no. 5 (Summer 2005). French version.
  16. Rosenberg, Aura. Head Shots. New York: Stop Over Press, 1996.
  17. Samaras, Lucas. Chairs and Drawings. New York: Pace Publications, 1987.
  18. Texte Zur Kunst no. 15.57 (March 2005).
  19. Wool, Christopher. Christopher Wool. New York: Scalo Publishers, 1998.

Related Material at Fales Library and Special Collections

Between C & D Archive (MSS.084)

Dennis Cooper Papers (MSS.085)

Downtown Flyers and Invitations Collection (MSS.119)

Ron Kolm Papers (MSS.079)

Terence Sellers Papers (MSS.167)

Serpent's Tail/High Risk Books Archive (MSS.086)

Lynne Tillman Papers (MSS.180)

David Wojnarowicz Papers (MSS.092)

Collection processed by

/ collection processed by Joseph Ketner, 2007.

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2024-02-06 14:14:59 -0500.
Language: Description is in English.


Fales Library and Special Collections
Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
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