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On his fifty-third birthday, Kevin Sessums woke up in his L.A. hotel room wondering how he would get through his scheduled interview with Hugh Jackman. For years he had interviewed the bright lights—Madonna, Courtney Love, Jessica Lange, and all the other usual suspects—but Kevin knew that his rapidly unraveling life was as shallow as the hotel’s hip furniture and he was hanging on by his fingertips. In I Left It on the Mountain, Sessums chronicles his early days in New York as an actor; his years working for Andy Warhol at Interview and Tina Brown, then Graydon Carter, at Vanity Fair; countless nights of anonymous sex; his HIV-positive diagnosis; and his descent into addiction. It’s also the chronicle of one man’s spiritual redemption, found while climbing to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostelo, and trudging across the cold, lonely winter beaches of Provincetown. Peopled with the famous, like Daniel Radcliffe and Diane Sawyer, as well as anonymous companions—corporeal and otherwise—whom he met while mountain climbing and hiking, I Left It on the Mountain is the story of one man’s fall and rebirth, the next moving chapter in Kevin Sessums’s extraordinary life that takes him from the high to the low and back again. For readers who loved Mississippi Sissy and want to know what happened to that tenacious little boy with the baseball mitt, I Left It on the Mountain is the sometimes very dark but ultimately hopeful answer.
KEVIN SESSUMS is editor in chief of FourTwoNine magazine and dot429.com. He was previously a contributing editor of Vanity Fair, Allure, and Parade. His work has appeared in Elle, Travel+Leisure, Out, Playboy, and Marie Claire as well as on the website The Daily Beast. He lives in San Francisco, California.