Completing the Twentieth-Century Cycle
University of Iowa Press 2010
New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in American StudiesNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in BiographyNew Books in Literary StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network May 30, 2011 Vershawn Young
Many scholars consider August Wilson to be the premier American playwright of the 20th Century. Alan Nadel is surely one of their number. In the early 1990s, he focused our attention on Wilson’s plays in the outstanding collection of essays May All Your Fences Have Gates: Essays on the Drama of August Wilson (University of Iowa Press, 1993). Since the publication of that work, Wilson completed his magnum opus–a ten-play cycle–shortly before his death in 2005. So now Nadel has followed up his first essay collection on Wilson with a second: August Wilson: Completing the Twentieth-Century Cycle (University of Iowa Press, 2010). This volume, as Nadel asserts, is for the trained cultural critic and everyday reader. My opinion is that the volume, like the first one, is centrally important to literary critics, performance scholars, and your average serious theatre goer, as well as to anyone interested in 20th-Century American culture. Listen to the interview, read the book, and share your thoughts.