“The Clean House is not, by any means, a traditional boy-meets-girl story. In fact disease, death, and dirt are among the subjects it addresses. This comedy is romantic, deeply so, but in the more arcane sense of the word: visionary, tinged with fantasy, extravagant in feeling, maybe a little nuts.”—The New York Times
“Touching, inventive, invigoratingly compact, and luminously liquid, Eurydice reframes the ancient myth of ill-fated love to focus not on the bereaved musician but on his dead bride—and on her struggle with love beyond the grave.”—San Francisco Chronicle
This volume is the first publication of Sarah Ruhl, “a playwright with a unique comic voice, perspective, and sense of theater” (Variety), who is fast leaving her mark on the American stage. In the award-winning Clean House—a play of uncommon romance and uncommon comedy—a maid who hates cleaning dreams about creating the perfect joke, while a doctor who treats cancer leaves his heart inside one of his patients. This volume also includes Eurydice, Ruhl’s reinvention of the tragic Greek tale of love and loss, together with a third play still to be named.
Sarah Ruhl received the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2004 for her play The Clean House, which has been produced at Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia, South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC. Her play Eurydice has been produced at Madison Repertory Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
“[This] breathtakingly inventive addition to Ruhl’s singular body of work . . . has the potential to be a modern masterpiece.”–Los Angeles Times
Sarah Ruhl made her Broadway debut this fall with her latest effervescent comedy: a play about sex, intimacy, and equality, set in the 1880s, when enthusiasm for the electric light bulb gave rise to a handy new instrument to treat female hysteria. The story revolves around the medical office and home of Dr. Givings, who regularly induces “paroxysm” in his once high-strung patient Sabrina, allowing her to happily return to playing piano. Soon, Sabrina falls in love with the doctor’s assistant Annie, and also befriends his wife Catherine, who is dealing with her own neurotic misgivings about not being able to breast-feed her baby. With this new work, Ruhl once again uses playful symbolism and lyrical language as she makes seemingly effortless thematic leaps—crafting a play with tremendous critical and audience appeal, in her singular theatrical voice.
Sarah Ruhl’s plays include Dead Man’s Cell Phone, The Clean House (a Pulitzer Prize finalist), Passion Play, and Eurydice, all of which have been widely produced throughout the United States and internationally. She is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.
From 1947 to 1977, Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop exchanged more than four hundred letters. Describing the writing of their poems, their travel and daily illnesses, the pyrotechnics of their romantic relationships, and the profound affection they had for each other, these missives are the most intimate record available of both poets and one of the greatest correspondences in American literature.
The playwright Sarah Ruhl fell in love with these letters and set herself an unusual challenge: to turn this thirty-year exchange into a stage play, and to bring to life the friendship of two writers who were rarely even in the same country. As innovative as it is moving, Dear Elizabeth gives voice to a conversation that lived mostly in writing, illuminating some of the finest poems of the twentieth century and the minds that produced them.
“Sarah Ruhl’s bold, inventive, and ironic triptych [is] a meditation on devotion and its appropriation by the state. . . . Ruhl is an original; a storyteller with a fine mind evolving her own theatrical idiom.”—John Lahr, The New Yorker
“It’s a different kind of morality play . . . an often wondrous work . . . with [Ruhl’s] own special lyrical blend of poetry, humor and grace.”—Frank Rizzo, Variety
Passion Play is Sarah Ruhl’s “biggest, most ambitious effort yet” (The New York Times), a three-and-a-half hour intimate epic, plunging the depths of the timely intersection of politics and religion. Ruhl dramatizes a community of players rehearsing their annual staging of the Easter Passion in three different eras: 1575 northern England, just before Queen Elizabeth outlaws the ritual; 1934 Oberammergua, Bavaria, as Hitler is rising to power; and Spearfish, South Dakota, from the time of Vietnam through Reagan’s presidency. In each period, the players grapple in different ways with the transformative nature of art, and politics are never far in the background, as Queen Elizabeth, Hitler, and Reagan each appear, played by a single commanding actor.
Sarah Ruhl’s plays include Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Eurydice, and The Clean House, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has been widely produced both throughout the country and internationally, and she is the recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.
The Oldest Boy is a richly emotional journey filled with music, dance, puppetry, ritual, and laughter—Sarah Ruhl at her imaginative best. A meditation on attachment and unconditional love, the play asks us to believe in a world in which sometimes the youngest children are also the oldest and wisest teachers.
100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write is a book in which chimpanzees, Chekhov, and child care are equally at home. A vibrant, provocative examination of the possibilities of the theater, it is also a map to a very particular artistic sensibility, and an unexpected guide for anyone who has chosen an artist's life.
“A powerhouse drama. . . . Lynn Nottage’s beautiful, hideous and unpretentiously important play [is] a shattering, intimate journey into faraway news reports.”—Linda Winer, Newsday
“An intense and gripping new drama . . . the kind of new play we desperately need: well-informed and unafraid of the world’s brutalities. Nottage is one of our finest playwrights, a smart, empathetic and daring storyteller who tells a story an audience won’t expect.”—David Cote, Time Out New York
A rain forest bar and brothel in the brutally war-torn Congo is the setting for Lynn Nottage’s extraordinary new play. The establishment’s shrewd matriarch, Mama Nadi, keeps peace between customers from both sides of the civil war, as government soldiers and rebel forces alike choose from her inventory of women, many already “ruined” by rape and torture when they were pressed into prostitution. Inspired by interviews she conducted in Africa with Congo refugees, Nottage has crafted an engrossing and uncommonly human story with humor and song served alongside its postcolonial and feminist politics in the rich theatrical tradition of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage.
Lynn Nottage’s plays include Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Fabulation, and Intimate Apparel, winner of the American Theatre Critics’ Steinberg New Play Award and the Francesca Primus Prize. Her plays have been widely produced, with Intimate Apparel receiving more productions than any other play in America during the 2005-2006 season.
Suzan-Lori Parks is the author of numerous plays, including In the Blood and Venus. She is currently head of the A.S.K. Theater Projects Writing for Performance Program at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia.
Neil LaBute's bristling new comic drama puts the final ferocious cap on a trilogy of plays that began with The Shape of Things and Fat Pig. America's obsession with physical beauty is confronted headlong in this brutal and exhilarating work.
At once enchanting and perplexing, incisively intelligent and side-splittingly funny, this original paperback edition of Ives's plays includes "Sure Thing," "Words, Words, Words," "The Universal Language," "Variations on the Death of Trotsky," "The Philadelphia," "Long Ago and Far Away," "Foreplay, or The Art of the Fugue," "Seven Menus," "Mere Mortals," "English Made Simple," "A Singular Kinda Guy," "Speed-the-Play," "Ancient History," and "Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread."
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Over the past decade, Donald Margulies has written some of the most insightful works in contemporary American drama. His body of work includes The Loman Family Picnic, Sight Unseen, The Model Apartment and Collected Stories, and with each succeeding work his audiences have grown. It is no surprise that his newest work is his most critically successful yet. As with all of Margulies’s work, he is a master of observing what might be considered the ordinary moments of life and its foibles with fresh ears. Dinner with Friends is a funny yet bittersweet examination of the married lives of two couples who have been extremely close for dozens of years. Although it seems to be treading on familiar ground, Dinner keeps changing its perspective to show how one couple’s breakup can have equally devastating effects on another’s stability.
"This is a smart and subtle play that understand there are no easy answers as people evolve and relationships settle into routine."—David Kaufman, Daily News
"Donald Margulies has drawn one of the most complex and convincing portraits of a marriage in recent memory."—Debra Jo Immergut, The Wall Street Journal
"Dinner with Friends is entertainment as succulent as it is sobering."—John Simon, New York Magazine
Donald Margulies lives with his wife and son in New Haven, CT. He is the author of numerous plays, including Collected Stories and Sight Unseen.
Indeed Lorraine Hansberry's award-winning drama about the hopes and aspirations of a struggling, working-class family living on the South Side of Chicago connected profoundly with the psyche of black America--and changed American theater forever. The play's title comes from a line in Langston Hughes's poem "Harlem," which warns that a dream deferred might "dry up/like a raisin in the sun."
"The events of every passing year add resonance to A Raisin in the Sun," said The New York Times. "It is as if history is conspiring to make the play a classic." This Modern Library edition presents the fully restored, uncut version of Hansberry's landmark work with an introduction by Robert Nemiroff.
Set in a time-bending, seriocomically imagined world between Heaven and Hell, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is a philosophical meditation on the conflict between divine mercy and human free will that takes a close look at the eternal damnation of the Bible's most notorious sinner. This latest work from the author of Our Lady of 121st Street "shares many of the traits that have made Mr. Guirgis a playwright to reckon with in recent years: a fierce and questing mind that refuses to settle for glib answers, a gift for identifying with life's losers and an unforced eloquence that finds the poetry in lowdown street talk. [Guirgis brings to the play] a stirring sense of Christian existential pain, which wonders at the paradoxes of faith" (Ben Brantley, The New York Times).
. . . there are many kinds of light.
The light of fires. The light of stars.
The light that reflects off rivers.
Light that penetrates through cracks.
Then there’s the type of light that reflects off the skin.
—Nilo Cruz, Anna in the Tropics
This lush romantic drama depicts a family of cigar makers whose loves and lives are played out against the backdrop of America in the midst of the Depression. Set in Ybor City (Tampa) in 1930, Cruz imagines the catalytic effect the arrival of a new "lector" (who reads Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to the workers as they toil in the cigar factory) has on a Cuban-American family. Cruz celebrates the search for identity in a new land.
"The words of Nilo Cruz waft from the stage like a scented breeze. They sparkle and prickle and swirl, enveloping those who listen in both specific place and time . . . and in timeless passions that touch us all. In Anna in the Tropics, the world premiere work he created for Coral Gables’ intimate New Theatre, Cruz claims his place as a storyteller of intricate craftsmanship and poetic power."—Miami Herald
Nilo Cruz is a young Cuban-American playwright whose work has been produced widely around the United States including the Public Theater (New York, NY), South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, CA), Magic Theatre (San Francisco, CA), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, McCarter Theater (Princeton, NJ) and New Theatre (Coral Gables, FL). His other plays include Night Train to Bolina, Two Sisters and a Piano, Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams, among others. Anna in the Tropics also won the Steinberg Award for Best New Play. Mr. Cruz teaches playwriting at Yale University and lives in New York City.
“The sting, the speed and marksmanship of the gimcracks his characters fire at each other . . . drips the kind of soulful, energized sarcasm that has long characterized [Letts’] work as an actor and playwright.”–Time Out Chicago
Tracy Letts, who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for his epic, caustic Oklahoma family drama August: Osage County, has shifted gears with this entertaining comedy set in a donut shop. A love letter to the city where he has lived for more than twenty years, Letts describes his new work as “an exploration of the Chicago storefront experience.” The play takes place in the north side neighborhood of Uptown, where Arthur Przybyszewski runs the donut shop that has been in his family for sixty years. More content to spend the day smoking weed and reminiscing about his Polish immigrant father, Arthur hires a shop assistant, the young African American Franco Wicks, who has both an unpublished novel and unpaid gambling debt. Superior Donuts premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and recently opened on Broadway—following the same path of success as Letts’ previous work.
Tracy Letts is the author of Killer Joe, Bug, Man from Nebraska (nominated for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize), and August: Osage County (awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama). He is a member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
Time magazine called The Skin of Our Teeth "a sort of Hellzapoppin' with brains," as it broke from established theatrical conventions and walked off with the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for Best Drama. Combining farce, burlesque, and satire (among other styles), Thornton Wilder departs from his studied use of nostalgia and sentiment in Our Town to have an Eternal Family narrowly escape one disaster after another, from ancient times to the present. Meet George and Maggie Antrobus (married only 5,000 years); their two children, Gladys and Henry (perfect in every way!); and their maid, Sabina (the ageless vamp) as they overcome ice, flood, and war -- by the skin of their teeth.
Included herein are his latest play, Gruesome Playground Injuries, which charts the intersection of two lives using scars, wounds, and calamity as the mile markers to explore why people hurt themselves to gain another’s love and the cumulative effect of such damage; Animals Out of Paper, a subtle, elegant, yet bracing examination of the artistic impulse and those in its thrall, which follows a world-famous origamist as she becomes the unwitting mentor to a troubled young prodigy, even as she must deal with her own loss of inspiration; and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, a darkly comedic drama that looks on as the lives of two American soldiers, an Iraqi translator, and a tiger intersect on the streets of Baghdad.
Winner of the Outer Circle Critics Award for Best Play
Winner of the Drama League Award for Best Production of a Play
Winner of the Drama Desk Award for Best Play
Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Production
Winner of the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Play
Nominated for six Tony Awards®, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is one of the most lauded and beloved Broadway plays of recent years. Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia live a quiet life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they grew up, but their peace is disturbed when their movie star sister Masha returns unannounced with her twenty-something boy toy, Spike. A weekend of rivalry, regret, and raucousness begins!
“A tremendous achievement in American playwriting: a tragicomic populist portrait of a tough land and a tougher people.”—Time Out New York
“Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County is what O’Neill would be writing in 2007. Letts has recaptured the nobility of American drama’s mid-century heyday while still creating something entirely original.”—New York magazine
One of the most bracing and critically acclaimed plays in recent Broadway history, August: Osage County is a portrait of the dysfunctional American family at its finest—and absolute worst. When the patriarch of the Weston clan disappears one hot summer night, the family reunites at the Oklahoma homestead, where long-held secrets are unflinchingly and uproariously revealed. The three-act, three-and-a-half-hour mammoth of a play combines epic tragedy with black comedy, dramatizing three generations of unfulfilled dreams and leaving not one of its thirteen characters unscathed. After its sold-out Chicago premiere, the play has electrified audiences in New York since its opening in November 2007.
Tracy Letts is the author of Killer Joe, Bug, and Man from Nebraska, which was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. His plays have been performed throughout the country and internationally. A performer as well as a playwright, Letts is a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where August: Osage County premiered.
Margaret Edson's powerfully imagined Pulitzer Prize–winning play examines what makes life worth living through her exploration of one of existence's unifying experiences—mortality—while she also probes the vital importance of human relationships. What we as her audience take away from this remarkable drama is a keener sense that, while death is real and unavoidable, our lives are ours to cherish or throw away—a lesson that can be both uplifting and redemptive. As the playwright herself puts it, "The play is not about doctors or even about cancer. It's about kindness, but it shows arrogance. It's about compassion, but it shows insensitivity."
In Wit, Edson delves into timeless questions with no final answers: How should we live our lives knowing that we will die? Is the way we live our lives and interact with others more important than what we achieve materially, professionally, or intellectually? How does language figure into our lives? Can science and art help us conquer death, or our fear of it? What will seem most important to each of us about life as that life comes to an end?
The immediacy of the presentation, and the clarity and elegance of Edson's writing, make this sophisticated, multilayered play accessible to almost any interested reader.
As the play begins, Vivian Bearing, a renowned professor of English who has
spent years studying and teaching the intricate, difficult Holy Sonnets of the
seventeenth-century poet John Donne, is diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. Confident of her ability to stay in control of events, she brings to her illness the same intensely rational and painstakingly methodical approach that has guided her stellar academic career. But as her disease and its excruciatingly painful treatment inexorably progress, she begins to question the single-minded values and standards that have always directed her, finally coming to understand the aspects of life that make it truly worth living.
Brooke has come home to draw a line in the sand and is daring her family to cross it. Her brother won't play her game; her aunt knows way too much, and her parents fall into all their old routines as they plead with her to keep their story quiet. In this family, secrets are currency and everyone is rich.
In simplest terms, the play is about a girl who comes home to the desert with a story about where she is from, who her people really are, what she thinks they really are. Her parents represent an Establishment that she feels has betrayed this country. She goes to war with them, and blood is spilled.
This is the dilemma facing Theresa Bedell, a reporter in New York, in Rebecca Gilman's tensely fascinating new play. When Theresa goes on an awkward blind date with a friend of a friend, she sees no reason to continue the relationship--but the man, an attractive fellow named Tony, thinks otherwise. While Theresa is at first annoyed yet flattered by his continuing attention, her attitude gradually changes to one of fear and fury when he starts violently to menace her and those around her.
In brilliantly delineating the kind of terror a woman in full control of her life feels when everything around her suddenly seems to be a threat, Gilman probes the dark side of relationships in the 1990s with the rich insight and compelling characterizations that have distinguished her earlier plays and made her one of the most exciting young playwrights working today.
Intimate Apparel: “Thoughtful, affecting new play . . . with seamless elegance.”—Charles Isherwood, Variety
Fabulation: “Robustly entertaining comedy . . . with punchy social insights and the firecracker snap of unexpected humor.”—Ben Brantley, The New York Times
With her two latest plays, “exceptionally gifted playwright” (New York Observer) Lynn Nottage has created companion pieces that span 100 years in the lives of African American women. Intimate Apparel is about the empowerment of Esther, a proud and shy seamstress in 1905 New York who creates exquisite lingerie for both Fifth Avenue boudoirs and Tenderloin bordellos. In Fabulation Nottage re-imagines Esther as Undine, the PR-diva of today, who spirals down from her swanky Manhattan office to her roots back in Brooklyn. Through opposite journeys, Esther and Undine achieve the same satisfying end, one of self-discovery.
Lynn Nottage’s plays include Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Mud, River, Stone; Por’ Knockers; Las Menias; Fabulation and Intimate Apparel, for which she was awarded the Francesca Primus Prize and the American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award in 2004. Her plays have been produced at theatres throughout the country, with Intimate Apparel slated for 16 productions during the 2005–2006 season.
With his latest play Good People, David Lindsay-Abaire returns to Manhattan Theatre Club where four of his previous works were produced, including his 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning Rabbit Hole. The play premiered there in winter 2011 in a production directed by Daniel Sullivan (who also directed Rabbit Hole), and featuring Frances McDormand in the role of protagonist Margie Walsh. Good People is set in South Boston, the blue-collar neighborhood where Lindsay-Abaire himself grew up: Margie Walsh, let go from yet another job and facing eviction, decides to appeal to an old flame who has made good and left his Southie past behind. Lindsay-Abaire offers us both his "quiet three-dimensional depth" (Los Angeles Times) and his carefully observed humor in this exploration of life in America when you're on your last dollar.
David Lindsay-Abaire is the author of Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, A Devil Inside, Wonder of the World, and Rabbit Hole, in addition to the book for the musicals High Fidelity and Shrek. His plays have been produced throughout the United States and around the world.
Based on a true story that stunned the world, M. Butterfly opens in the cramped prison cell where diplomat Rene Gallimard is being held captive by the French government—and by his own illusions. In the darkness of his cell he recalls a time when desire seemed to give him wings. A time when Song Liling, the beautiful Chinese diva, touched him with a love as vivid, as seductive—and as elusive—as a butterfly.
How could he have known, then, that his ideal woman was, in fact, a spy for the Chinese government—and a man disguised as a woman? In a series of flashbacks, the diplomat relives the twenty-year affair from the temptation to the seduction, from its consummation to the scandal that ultimately consumed them both. But in the end, there remains only one truth: Whether or not Gallimard's passion was a flight of fancy, it sparked the most vigorous emotions of his life.
Only in real life could love become so unreal. And only in such a dramatic tour de force do we learn how a fantasy can become a man's mistress—as well as his jailer. M. Butterfly is one of the most compelling, explosive, and slyly humorous dramas ever to light the Broadway stage, a work of unrivaled brilliance, illuminating the conflict between men and women, the differences between East and West, racial stereotypes—and the shadows we cast around our most cherished illusions.
M. Butterfly remains one of the most influential romantic plays of contemporary literature, and in 1993 was made into a film by David Cronenberg starring Jeremy Irons and John Lone.
“The best new play of the season. That rarity of rarities, an issue-driven play that is unpreachy, thought-provoking, and so full of high drama that the audience with which I saw it gasped out loud a half-dozen times at its startling twists and turns. Mr. Shanley deserves the highest possible praise: he doesn’t try to talk you into doing anything but thinking-hard-about the gnarly complexity of human behavior.”—Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal
“A breathtaking work of immense proportion. Positively brilliant.”—Melissa Rose Bernardo, Entertainment Weekly
“#1 show of the year. How splendid it feels to be trusted with such passionate, exquisite ambiguity unlike anything we have seen from this prolific playwright so far. In just ninety fast-moving minutes, Shanley creates four blazingly individual people. Doubt is a lean, potent drama . . . passionate, exquisite, important and engrossing.”—Linda Winer, Newsday
John Patrick Shanley is the author of numerous plays, including Danny in the Deep Blue Sea, Dirty Story, Four Dogs and a Bone, Psychopathia, Sexualis, Sailor’s Song, Savage in Limbo, and Where’s My Money? He has written extensively for TV and film, and his credits include the teleplay for Live from Baghdad and screenplays for Congo; Alive; Five Corners; Joe Versus the Volcano, which he also directed; and Moonstruck, for which he won an Academy Award for best original screenplay.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times Book Review • People • NPR • The Washington Post • Slate • Harper’s Bazaar • Esquire • Time Out New York • Publishers Weekly • BookPage
Finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction and the Books for a Better Life Award in Inspirational Memoir
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.
What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.
Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.
Praise for When Breath Becomes Air
“I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option. . . . Part of this book’s tremendous impact comes from the obvious fact that its author was such a brilliant polymath. And part comes from the way he conveys what happened to him—passionately working and striving, deferring gratification, waiting to live, learning to die—so well.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“An emotional investment well worth making: a moving and thoughtful memoir of family, medicine and literature. It is, despite its grim undertone, accidentally inspiring.”—The Washington Post
“Possesses the gravity and wisdom of an ancient Greek tragedy . . . [Kalanithi] delivers his chronicle in austere, beautiful prose. The book brims with insightful reflections on mortality that are especially poignant coming from a trained physician familiar with what lies ahead.”—The Boston Globe
“Devastating and spectacular . . . [Kalanithi] is so likeable, so relatable, and so humble, that you become immersed in his world and forget where it’s all heading.”—USA Today
In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending
Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.
Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.
Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.
Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like?
Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin's engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).
Our Town was first produced and published in 1938 to wide acclaim. This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of life in the small village of Grover's Corners, an allegorical representation of all life, has become a classic. It is Thornton Wilder's most renowned and most frequently performed play.
From Quiara Alegría Hudes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Water by the Spoonful, comes this companion play, itself a Pulitzer finalist.
In a crumbling urban lot that has been converted into a verdant sanctuary, a young Marine comes to terms with his father's service in Vietnam as he decides whether to leave for a second tour of duty in Iraq.
Melding a poetic dreamscape with a stream-of-consciousness narrative, Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue takes us on an unforgettable journey across time and generations, lyrically tracing the legacy of war on a single Puerto Rican family.
Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, is the first installment in a trilogy of plays that follow Elliot's return from Iraq. The second play, Water by the Spoonful, received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and will be published by Theatre Communications Group concurrently with Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue. The trilogy's final play, The Happiest Song Plays Last, premiered in April 2012 at Chicago's renowned The Goodman Theatre.
Spinning into Butter had its world premiere at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in May 1999 and opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center in New York in April 2000.
Clybourne Park is the winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play.
This is the first trade paperback edition of The Night of the Iguana and comes with an Introduction by award-winning playwright Doug Wright, the author’s original Foreword, the short story “The Night of the Iguana” which was the germ for the play, plus an essay by noted Tennessee Williams scholar, Kenneth Holditch.
“I’m tired of conducting services in praise and worship of a senile delinquent—yeah, that’s what I said, I shouted! All your Western theologies, the whole mythology of them, are based on the concept of God as a senile delinquent and, by God, I will not and cannot continue to conduct services in praise and worship of this…this…this angry, petulant old man.”
—The Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon, from The Night of the Iguana
"In the smart, rollicking Stage Kiss . . . passion and fidelity engage in a kind of elegant pas de deux. . . . The play manages to be both wholly original and instantly recognizable . . . with its combination of hilarity and trenchancy."—The New Yorker
Award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl brings her unique mix of lyricism, sparkling humor, and fierce intelligence to her new romantic comedy, Stage Kiss. When estranged lovers He and She are thrown together as romantic leads in a long-forgotten 1930s melodrama, the line between off-stage and on-stage begins to blur. A "knockabout farce that channels Noël Coward and Michael Frayn" (Chicago Tribune), Stage Kiss is a thoughtful and clever examination of the difference between youthful lust and respectful love. Ruhl, one of America's most frequently produced playwrights, proves that a kiss is not just a kiss in this whirlwind romantic comedy, which will receive its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons in winter 2014.
Sarah Ruhl's other plays include the Pulitzer Prize finalists In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) and The Clean House, as well as Passion Play, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Demeter in the City, Eurydice, Melancholy Play, and Late: a cowboy song. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a PEN/Laura Pels Award, and a MacArthur Fellowship. Her plays have premiered on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and have been produced in many theaters around the world.
Hope for the here and now from the multimillion-selling author of 90 Minutes in Heaven.
Millions believe in Heaven. Don Piper's been there. He was pronounced dead after a car accident on January 18, 1989. Ninety minutes later, Piper came back to life with an extraordinary story. His 90 Minutes in Heaven has strengthened the faith of countless people.
When Piper returned to this life, he had a long road back to health, dealing with painful treatments and physical disabilities-the "new normal," as Piper calls it. Still, he had been transformed spiritually and this allowed him not only to cope with his suffering, but to transcend it. Piper found purpose in his pain, he found the message in the mess, and so can anyone else who embraces God's grace in the here and now-as well as the Hereafter.
Don Piper did not return from Heaven alone-he brought the gift of hope back with him. Those who read Heaven Is Real can use what he learned to live the lives God has called them to live.
Winner of the Drama Critics' Award for Best New Play in 1947, All My Sons established Arthur Miller as a leading voice in the American theater. All My Sons introduced themes that thread through Miller's work as a whole: the relationships between fathers and sons and the conflict between business and personal ethics. This edition features an introduction by Christopher Bigsby.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Now from Gregory Mosher, the producer of the original stage production, comes a stunning screen adaptation, directed by Michael Corrente and starring Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Franz, and Sean Nelson.
A classic tragedy, American Buffalo is the story of three men struggling in the pursuit of their distorted vision of the American Dream. By turns touching and cynical, poignant and violent, American Buffalo is a piercing story of how people can be corrupted into betraying their ideals and those they love.
Twelve-year-old Helen Keller lived in a prison of silence and darkness. Born deaf, blind, and mute, with no way to express herself or comprehend those around her, she flew into primal rages against anyone who tried to help her, fighting tooth and nail with a strength born of furious, unknowing desperation.
Then Annie Sullivan came. Half-blind herself, but possessing an almost fanatical determination, she would begin a frightening and incredibly moving struggle to tame the wild girl no one could reach, and bring Helen into the world at last....
"To me the most interesting aspect of the success of Man of La Mancha is the fact that it plows squarely upstream against the prevailing current of philosophy in the theater. That current is best identified by its catch-labels--Theater of the Absurd, Black Comedy, the Theater of Cruelty--which is to say the theater of alienation, of moral anarchy and despair. To the practitioners of those philosophies Man of La Mancha must seem hopelessly naive in its espousal of illusion as man's strongest spiritual need, the most meaningful function of his imagination. But I've no unhappiness about that. "Facts are the enemy of truth," says Cervantes-Don Quixote. And that is precisely what I felt and meant."--Dale Wasserman, from the Preface.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Lynn Nottage's work explores depths of humanness, the overlapping complexities of race, gender, culture and history—and the startling simplicity of desire—with a clear tenderness, with humor, with compassion."—Paula Vogel, Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright
In her first new play since the critically acclaimed Ruined, Lynn Nottage examines the legacy of African Americans in Hollywood in a dramatic stylistic departure from her previous work. Fluidly incorporating film and video elements into her writing for the first time, Nottage's comedy tells the story of Vera Stark, an African American maid and budding actress who has a tangled relationship with her boss, a white Hollywood star desperately grasping to hold onto her career. Stirring audiences out of complacency by tackling racial stereotyping in the entertainment industry, Nottage highlights the paradox of black actors in 1930s Hollywood while jumping back and forward in time and location in this uniquely theatrical narrative. By the Way, Meet Vera Stark premiered in New York in 2011 and will receive productions at Los Angeles's Geffen Playhouse in fall 2012 and Chicago's Goodman Theatre and The Lyric Stage Company of Boston in spring 2013.
Lynn Nottage's plays include the Pulitzer Prize–winning Ruined; Intimate ApparelFabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine; Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por'Knockers; and POOF!
Can any woman have it all? After university Catherine and Gwen chose opposite paths: Catherine built a career as a rock-star academic, while Gwen built a home with a husband and children. Decades later, unfulfilled in opposite ways, each woman covets the other's life, and a dangerous game begins as each tries to claim the other's territory. Sparks fly and the age-old question arises: what do women really want?
Gina Gionfriddo dissects modern gender politics in this breathtakingly witty and virtuosic comedy, set in a small New England college town. Traversing the experiences of women across the generations, this play is a hugely entertaining exploration of a new style of feminism, ripe for the twenty-first century.
Rapture, Blister, Burn was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, where it premiered, with funds from the Harold and Mim Steinberg Charitable Trust. It received its UK premiere at the Hampstead Theatre, London, in January 2014.
Who better than America's elder statesman of the theater, Williams' contemporary Arthur Miller, to write as a witness to the lightning that struck American culture in the form of A Streetcar Named Desire? Miller's rich perspective on Williams' singular style of poetic dialogue, sensitive characters, and dramatic violence makes this a unique and valuable new edition of A Streetcar Named Desire. This definitive new edition will also include Williams' essay "The World I Live In," and a brief chronology of the author's life.
Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play
It is the spring of 1948. In the still cool evenings of Pittsburgh's Hill district, familiar sounds fill the air. A rooster crows. Screen doors slam. The laughter of friends gathered for a backyard card game rises just above the wail of a mother who has lost her son. And there's the sound of the blues, played and sung by young men and women with little more than a guitar in their hands and a dream in their hearts.
August Wilson's Seven Guitars is the sixth chapter in his continuing theatrical saga that explores the hope, heartbreak, and heritage of the African-American experience in the twentieth century. The story follows a small group of friends who gather following the untimely death of Floyd "Schoolboy" Barton, a local blues guitarist on the edge of stardom. Together, they reminisce about his short life and discover the unspoken passions and undying spirit that live within each of them.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
A scene of madness greets Vince and his girlfriend as they arrive at the squalid farmhouse of Vince’s hard-drinking grandparents, who seem to have no idea who he is. Nor does his father, Tilden, a hulking former All-American footballer, or his uncle, who has lost one of his legs to a chain saw. Only the memory of an unwanted child, buried in an undisclosed location, can hope to deliver this family from its sin.
Ever since it was first performed in 1949, Death of a Salesman has been recognized as a milestone of the American theater. In the person of Willy Loman, the aging, failing salesman who makes his living riding on a smile and a shoeshine, Arthur Miller redefined the tragic hero as a man whose dreams are at once insupportably vast and dangerously insubstantial. He has given us a figure whose name has become a symbol for a kind of majestic grandiosity—and a play that compresses epic extremes of humor and anguish, promise and loss, between the four walls of an American living room.
"By common consent, this is one of the finest dramas in the whole range of the American theater." —Brooks Atkinson, The New York Times
"So simple, central, and terrible that the run of playwrights would neither care nor dare to attempt it." —Time
From the Obie Award-winning author of Quills comes this acclaimed one-man show, which explores the astonishing true story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. A transvestite and celebrated antiques dealer who successfully navigated the two most oppressive regimes of the past century-the Nazis and the Communists--while openly gay and defiantly in drag, von Mahlsdorf was both hailed as a cultural hero and accused of colluding with the Stasi.
In an attempt to discern the truth about Charlotte, Doug Wright has written "at once a vivid portrait of Germany in the second half of the twentieth century, a morally complex tale about what it can take to be a survivor, and an intriguing meditation on everything from the obsession with collecting to the passage of time" (Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times).