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The Cambridge Companion to August Wilson


Part of Cambridge Companions to Literature

Christopher Bigsby, John Lahr, Mary L. Bogumil, Kim Pereira, Harry J. Elam Jr., Samuel A. Hay, Alan Nadel, Felicia Hardison Londre, Brenda Murphy, Matthew Roudané, Stephen Bottoms, David Krasner, Joan Herrington, Margaret Booker, Janice A. Sauer, David K. Sauer
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  • Date Published: November 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521685061

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About the Authors
  • One of America's most powerful and original dramatists, August Wilson offered an alternative history of the twentieth century, as seen from the perspective of black Americans. He celebrated the lives of those seemingly pushed to the margins of national life, but who were simultaneously protagonists of their own drama and evidence of a vital and compelling community. Decade by decade, he told the story of a people with a distinctive history who forged their own future, aware of their roots in another time and place, but doing something more than just survive. Wilson deliberately addressed black America, but in doing so discovered an international audience. Alongside chapters addressing Wilson's life and career, and the wider context of his plays, this Companion dedicates individual chapters to each play in his ten-play cycle, which are ordered chronologically, demonstrating Wilson's notion of an unfolding history of the twentieth century.

    • Includes an in-depth interview with August Wilson, providing the reader with a fascinating insight into the life and experiences of the playwright
    • Discusses the cycle of ten plays chronologically, allowing the reader to follow the unfolding story of the twentieth century as seen by Wilson
    • Situates Wilson's work within dramatic, social and political contexts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ' … excellent, and long overdue, is The Cambridge Companion to August Wilson …' The Stage

    'The Cambridge Companion to August Wilson allows readers not only the benefit of an up-close-and-personal education about one of America's greatest playwrights, but the collection affords much needed aesthetic distance to enable them to appreciate the scope and the ultimate value of his oeuvre.' Review of English Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521685061
    • length: 242 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 155 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. August Wilson: the ground on which he stood Christopher Bigsby
    2. Been here and gone John Lahr
    3. August Wilson's relationship to black theatre: community, aesthetics, history and race Mary L. Bogumil
    4. Music and mythology in August Wilson's plays Kim Pereira
    5. Gem of the Ocean and the redemptive power of history Harry J. Elam Jr.
    6. Joe Turner's Come and Gone Samuel A. Hay
    7. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom: cutting the historical record, dramatizing a Blues CD Alan Nadel
    8. A piano and its history: family and transcending family Felicia Hardison Londre
    9. The tragedy of Seven Guitars Brenda Murphy
    10. August Wilson's Fences Matthew Roudané
    11. Two Trains Running: blood on the tracks Stephen Bottoms
    12. Jitney, folklore and responsibility David Krasner
    13. King Hedley II: in the midst of all this death Joan Herrington
    14. Radio Golf: the courage of his convictions - survival, success and spirituality Margaret Booker
    15. Critics on August Wilson Janice A. and David K. Sauer
    An interview with August Wilson Christopher Bigsby.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • African American Drama
    • African American Literature
    • American Theatre, 1890-Present
    • Contemporary American Theatre
    • Modern Drama ll
    • The Theatre of August Wilson
    • Toni Morrison and August Wilson
  • Author

    Christopher Bigsby, University of East Anglia
    Christopher Bigsby is Professor of American Studies at the University of East Anglia.


    Christopher Bigsby, John Lahr, Mary L. Bogumil, Kim Pereira, Harry J. Elam Jr., Samuel A. Hay, Alan Nadel, Felicia Hardison Londre, Brenda Murphy, Matthew Roudané, Stephen Bottoms, David Krasner, Joan Herrington, Margaret Booker, Janice A. Sauer, David K. Sauer

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