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Edward Albee

Book description

Edward Albee (1928–2016) was a central figure in modern American theatre, and his bold and often experimental theatrical style won him wide acclaim. This book explores the issues, public and private, that so influenced Albee's vision over five decades, from his first great success, The Zoo Story (1959), to his last play, Me, Myself, & I (2008). Matthew Roudané covers all of Albee's original works in this comprehensive, clearly structured, and up-to-date study of the playwright's life and career: in Part I, the volume explores Albee's background and the historical contexts of his work; Part II concentrates on twenty-four of his plays, including Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962); and Part III investigates his critical reception. Surveying Albee's relationship with Broadway, and including interviews conducted with Albee himself, this book will be of great importance for theatregoers and students seeking an accessible yet incisive introduction to this extraordinary American playwright.


‘Matthew Roudané has been one of Albee's most astute and discerning critics for more than thirty years. In his energetic, engaging, and precise prose, he offers analyses of twenty-five Albee plays, enriched by the playwright's words from Roudané's many interviews with him. This book is accessible to the general reader and theatergoer, but rewards the specialist just as well. Overviews of Albee's life and work establish the themes that undergird Roudané's treatment of the plays – Albee's existential sense of human loss and being lost balanced by a profound sense of hope, his conviction of the preeminence of consciousness in living human life to the full, and his belief in the regenerative powers of the imagination. The coherent vision Roudané brings to, or reveals in, Albee's work, from The Zoo Story (1959) to Me, Myself, & I (2008), is simply stunning.'

Brenda Murphy - Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English, Emeritus

‘It would be hard to imagine a more thorough, intelligent, persuasive, and sympathetic account of the work of Edward Albee than this. The word ‘Introduction' is too modest. This is a comprehensive account not only of the plays and the man who wrote them but of the theatrical, social, and political context in which they were written. This will surely stand as a key work for all those interested in one of the finest playwrights America has produced.'

Christopher Bigsby - Professor of American Studies, University of East Anglia

'… this current volume provides an important overview of all of Albee’s plays, in ten beautifully written chapters which provide important historical and sociological context for Albee’s theatre on and off Broadway. While the volume is an accessible work for newcomers to these plays, it is far more than an introductory work, giving shape and meaning to the career of one of America’s most iconoclastic dramatists … Written in a tight, evocative, and swift narrative style, Roudané provide not just an introduction to, but a remarkable and incredibly useful overview of Albee’s work, with an excellent bibliography and index, and more than a touch of personal admiration for its subject.'

David Crespy Source: The Edward Albee Society E-Newsletter

'In this clear, concise introduction to the works of Edward Albee (1928–2016), Roudané (Georgia State Univ.) situates Albee's oeuvre in public and private historical contexts through a chronological examination of 26 of his plays. … Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers.'

K. Tancheva Source: Choice

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The following bibliography provides selected published works by and about Edward Albee.

Readers may also consult the Edward Albee Society’s website, which is an excellent source for ongoing updates about all things Albee.

The Collected Plays of Edward Albee Volume 1. New York: Overlook Duckworth, 2004. Includes The Zoo Story; The Death of Bessie Smith; The Sandbox; The American Dream; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; The Ballad of the Sad Café; Tiny Alice; Malcolm.
The Collected Plays of Edward Albee Volume 2. New York: Overlook Duckworth, 2005. Includes A Delicate Balance; Everything in the Garden; Box and Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung; All Over; Seascape; Listening; Counting the Ways; The Lady from Dubuque.
The Collected Plays of Edward Albee Volume 3. New York: Overlook Duckworth, 2005. Includes Lolita; The Man Who Had Three Arms; Finding the Sun; Marriage Play; Fragments; Occupant; The Play About The Baby; Knock! Knock! Whos There!?; The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?
At Home at the Zoo. New York: Overlook Duckworth, 2011.
Me, Myself & I. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 2011.
Stretching My Mind: The Collected Essays 1960 to 2005. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005.
Crespy, David and Konkle, Lincoln. “A Conversation with Edward Albee,” Gralen, Haley, ed. Text & Presentation, 2013: The Comparative Drama Series 10. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2013, pp. 713.
Kolin, Philip C., ed. Conversations with Edward Albee. Jackson and London: University Press of Mississippi, 1988.
Amacher, Richard E. and Rule, Margaret. Edward Albee at Home and Abroad: A Bibliography. New York: AMS Press, 1973.
Giantvalley, Scott. Edward Albee: A Reference Guide. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1987.
Green, Charles Lee. Edward Albee, an Annotated Bibliography, 1968–1977. New York: AMS Press, 1980.
Tyce, Richard. Edward Albee: A Bibliography. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1987.
Amacher, Richard E. Edward Albee. Rev. ed. Boston: Twayne, 1982.
Antón-Pacheco, Ana. El Teatro de los Estados Unidos: Historia y Crítica. Madrid: Langre, 2005.
Bigsby, C. W. E. Albee. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1969.
Bigsby, C. W. E., ed. Edward Albee: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1975.
Bigsby, C. W. E. A Critical Introduction to Twentieth-Century American Drama, Vol. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.
Bigsby, C. W. E.Bigsby, C. W. E. Modern American Drama, 1945–2000. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Edward Albee: Modern Critical Views. New Haven: Chelsea House, 1987.
Bottoms, Stephen, Albee: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Bottoms, StephenBottoms, Stephen, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Edward Albee. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Braem, Helmut M. Edward Albee. Hanover: Friedrich Verlag Velber, 1968.
Cohn, Ruby. Edward Albee. Pamphlets on American Writers No. 77. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1969.
Crespy, David A. Richard Barr: The Playwright’s Producer. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2013.
Davis, Walter A. Get the Guests: Psychoanalysis, Modern American Drama, and the Audience. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1994.
Debusscher, Gilbert. Edward Albee: Tradition and Renewal. Trans. Anne D. Williams. Brussels: American Studies Center, 1967.
De La Fuente, Patricia, ed. Edward Albee, Planned Wilderness: Interviews, Essays, and Bibliography. Edinburg, TX: Pan American University, 1980.
Dircks, Phyllis T. Edward Albee: A Literary Companion. Jefferson: McFarland, 2010.
Dutton, Richard. Modern Tragicomedy and the British Tradition. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986.
Gussow, Mel. Edward Albee: A Singular Journey. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.
Hayman, Ronald. Edward Albee. New York: Ungar, 1971.
Hirsch, Foster. Who’s Afraid of Edward Albee? Berkeley: Creative Arts Book, 1978.
Horn, Barbara Lee. Edward Albee: A Research and Production Sourcebook. Westport: Praeger, 2003.
Jenckes, Norma, ed. American Drama: Edward Albee, Spring 1993. [Special edition of journal.]
Kerjan, Liliane. Edward Albee. Paris: Éditions Seghers, 1971.
Kolin, Philip, ed. American Playwrights since 1945: A Guide to Scholarship, Criticism, and Performance. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1989.
Kolin, Philip C. and Davis, J. Madison, eds. Critical Essays on Edward Albee. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1986.
Krasner, David. American Drama 1945–2000. Oxford: Blackwell Press, 2006.
Krasner, David, ed. A Companion to Twentieth-Century American Drama. Oxford: Blackwell Press, 2005.
Mann, Bruce J., ed. Edward Albee: A Casebook. New York: Garland, 2001.
McCarthy, Gerry. Edward Albee. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987.
Mira, Alberto, ed. Quién teme a Virginia Woolf? Madrid: Catedra Letras Universales, 1997.
Nayar, Rana. Edward Albee: Towards a Typology of Relationships. New Delhi: Prestige, 2003.
Németh, Lenke, ed. Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, 15, Spring 2009. [Special issue of journal contains six essays on Albee’s “Late-Middle Period.”]
Paolucci, Anne. From Tension to Tonic: The Plays of Edward Albee. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1972.
Paolucci, Anne.Paolucci, Anne. Edward Albee (The Later Plays). Middle Village, New York: Griffon House, 2010.
Roudané, Matthew. Understanding Edward Albee. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1987.
Roudané, Matthew, ed. American Drama: Contemporary Authors Bibliographic Series, Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 1989.
Roudané, Matthew. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”: Necessary Fictions, Terrifying Realities. Boston: Twayne, 1990.
Roudané, Matthew, ed. Public Issues, Private Tensions: Contemporary American Drama. New York: AMS Press, 1993.
Roudané, Matthew. American Drama since 1960: A Critical History. Boston: Twayne, 1996.
Roudané, Matthew, with Middeke, Martin, Schnierer, Peter Paul, and Innes, Christopher, eds. The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary American Playwrights. London: Bloomsbury, 2014.
Rutenberg, Michael E. Edward Albee: Playwright in Protest. New York: Avon, 1969.
Schmidt, Kerstin. The Theater of Transformation: Postmodernism in American Drama. New York and Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2005.
Solomon, Rakesh H. Albee in Performance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.
Stenz, Anita Maria. Edward Albee: The Poet of Loss. The Hague: Mouton, 1978.
Vos, Nelvin. Eugene Ionesco and Edward Albee: A Critical Essay. Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans, 1968.
Wasserman, Julian N., ed. Edward Albee: An Interview and Essays. Lee Lecture Series, University of St. Thomas, Houston. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1983.
Wilmeth, Don B. and Bigsby, Christopher. The Cambridge History of American Theatre, Vol. III. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Zinman, Toby. Edward Albee. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2008.


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