Ray by Ray: A Daughter's Take on the Legend of Nicholas Ray


Product Details

$20.00  $18.40
Three Rooms Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 1.0 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author

Nicca Ray was raised in Los Angeles, not far from where scenes from her father's most famous film, Rebel Without a Cause, were shot. In her early teen years, she became heavily involved in the L.A. punk scene, and spent a decade mimicking her father through drug and alcohol abuse. After becoming sober in her early twenties, she moved to New York City, where she still lives. At 38, she graduated from New School University, writing and directing two films, and creating and staging several plays. She has spent the years since researching and interviewing friends and family of her father, including Wim Wenders, Dennis Hopper, Norman Lloyd, Tony Ray, and many more. Her research is the basis of Ray by Ray.


"In this intimate blend of memoir and biography, [Nicholas Ray's] daughter, Nicca, a filmmaker and writer, explores her father's complex life and artistic legacy as well as their own complicated relationship and his impact on her life. ... This contemplative, deeply personal portrait of both Rays will appeal to readers interested in mid-century Hollywood." --Library Journal

"Nicca Ray's shockingly candid memoir of her filmmaker father and deeply dysfunctional family is harrowing, beautifully written and near-impossible to put down." Shelf Awareness

"Ray by Ray: A Daughter's Take on the Legend of Nicholas Ray [is] a decade-plus project that tells all in a way that's true to [author Nicca Ray] and true to her father...an intimate first-hand grasp on the benefits and hindrances of drugs and alcohol--along with front-row access to the Hollywood scene ...In Ray by Ray, Nicca stays out of ... film talk, rather opening up her own family history to reveal her dad's emotional and professional disintegration, his own twisted-up storylines." --Please Kill Me

"Nicholas Ray invented the meme of teenage anguish. His daughter Nicca lived it. The first miracle is that she survived. The second is that she created this beautiful, heart-breaking book, in which she maps the intersecting arcs of her life and her father's, creating a dazzling geometry of self-creation and self-destruction." --Peter Trachtenberg, author, 7 Tattoos and Another Insane Devotion

"Nicca Ray is film director Nick Ray's daughter and as her marvelous memoir unspools, she could be a genetically engineered female protagonist of an imaginary Nick Ray picture. ... [Ray by Ray] is the screamingly sad, wise, drug-fueled, hilarious tale of a daughter's coming to light from under an immense paternal shadow. A deep dark shadow, by mortal standards, a shadow's shadow; for Nick Ray is himself a burnt-out case, an artist swallowed whole by the bottle, the spoon and the syringe." --Amos Poe, director, The Blank Generation

"If you diagrammed Nicca Ray's family tree, going back only two generations, it would resemble a web spun by a spider on acid. RAY BY RAY is the story of a search for home, for family, for identity, for the understanding of personal demons. Nicca's journey is one of courage and harrowing honesty. She doesn't gloss over the ugly bits, of which there are many. Despite her recreation of the trauma, the confusion of her childhood and teen years, she holds onto a grace, compassion and unconditional love for all of her family members, particularly her famous genius father, a filmmaker ultimately sabotaged by his own fears via alcohol, drugs, generational abuse and mental health issues. Nicca connects the dots, emotional links resonating in not only her parents' erratic behavior, but in her father's cinematic masterpieces." --Chris D. (author, former American Cinematheque programmer and singer/songwriter of the bands, The Flesh Eaters and Divine Horsemen)