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Edward Albee
A Critical Introduction

$25.99 (P)

  • Date Published: August 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521726955

$ 25.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • The only book to cover all of Albee's plays, making this the most thorough and up-to-date study of the playwright's work
    • Contains material from personal interviews conducted with Albee, presenting unique insights from the man himself
    • Accessibly written and chronologically ordered, it allows readers to easily follow the development of Albee's style and theatrical vision over the course of his career
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘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, 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, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521726955
    • length: 214 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.31kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Albee's Life and World:
    1. Life
    2. Overview: the theater of Edward Albee
    3. Contexts
    Part II. The Plays:
    4. Ritualized forms of expiation
    5. Challenging Broadway
    6. 'The greatest sin in living is doing it badly – stupidly, or as if you weren't really alive'
    7. A quest for consciousness
    8. As I lay dying
    9. A theater of loss
    Part III. Dialogues:
    10. Critical reception
    Epilogue: final curtain
    Further reading

  • Author

    Matthew Roudané, Georgia State University
    Matthew Roudané is Regents' Professor of English at Georgia State University. He has published widely on various aspects of American drama, particularly the theatre of major figures including Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, and Edward Albee. He is editor of The Cambridge Companion to Tennessee Williams (1997) and of The Cambridge Companion to Sam Shepard (2002).

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