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Fences & Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Paperback – 26 November 2020

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 ratings

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Paperback, 26 November 2020

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A prolific and successful playwright who confines his themes to African American culture... August Wilson widened the space for African American theatre and controlled it for some twenty-fve years. The level of his achievement is high. This comes powerfully into view when the play is read, an activity for me that is equal to, and in some ways more fruitful than, seeing its stage production. -- Toni Morrison

August Wilson has established himself as the richest theatrical voice to emerge in the U.S. since Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller ― Time

Wilson is a major writer, combining a poet's ear for vernacular with a robust sense of humor, a sure sense for crackling dramatic incident, and a passionate commitment to a great subject ― New York Times

The strongest, most passionate American dramatic writing since Tennessee Williams ― New York Post

Wilson is a consummate storyteller ― Los Angeles Times

A genuine work of art ― New Yorker on 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'

A blockbuster piece of theater, a major American play ― New York Daily News on 'Fences'

A moving story line and a hero almost Shakespearean in contour ― Wall Street Journal on 'Fences'

In his work, August Wilson depicted the struggles of black Americans with uncommon lyrical richness, theatrical density and emotional heft, in plays that give vivid voices to people on the frayed margins of life ― New York Times

About the Author

August Wilson was a major American playwright whose work has been consistently acclaimed as among the finest of the American theatre. His first play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for best new play of 1984-85. His second play, Fences, won numerous awards for best play of the year, 1987, including the Tony Award, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. Joe Turner's Come and Gone, his third play, was voted best play of 1987-1988 by the New York Drama Critics' Circle. In 1990, Wilson was awarded his second Pulitzer Prize for The Piano Lesson. He died in 2005.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin (26 November 2020); Penguin Random House
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0241987830
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0241987834
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 149 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.9 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Importer ‏ : ‎ Penguin Random House
  • Packer ‏ : ‎ Penguin Random House
  • Generic Name ‏ : ‎ Books
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 9 ratings

About the author

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August Wilson (1945–2005) authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of African Americans, decade by decade, over the course of the twentieth century. Mr. Wilson’s plays have been produced at regional theaters across the country, on Broadway and throughout the world. In 2003, Mr. Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show How I Learned What I Learned.

Mr. Wilson’s work garnered many awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fences (1987) and The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain’s Olivier Award for Jitney; and eight New York Drama Critics Circle awards for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, Jitney and Radio Golf. Additionally, the cast recording of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award, and Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. Mr. Wilson’s early works include the one act plays: The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcolm X, The Homecoming and the musical satire Black Bart and the Sacred Hills.

Mr. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, including Rockefeller and Guggenheim fellowships in playwriting, the Whiting Writers Award and the 2003 Heinz Award. He was awarded a 1999 National Humanities Medal by the President of the United States, and received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, as well as the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway renamed the theater located at 245 West 52nd Street: The August Wilson Theatre. In 2007, he was posthumously inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.

Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, and lived in Seattle at the time of his death. He is survived by two daughters, Sakina Ansari and Azula Carmen Wilson, and his wife, costume designer Constanza Romero.

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