In this Book

August Wilson
summary

Just prior to his death in 2005, August Wilson, arguably the most important American playwright of the last quarter-century, completed an ambitious cycle of ten plays, each set in a different decade of the twentieth century. Known as the Twentieth-Century Cycle or the Pittsburgh Cycle, the plays, which portrayed the struggles of African-Americans, won two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama, a Tony Award for Best Play, and seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards. August Wilson: Completing the Twentieth-Century Cycle is the first volume devoted to the last five plays of the cycle individually—Jitney, Seven Guitars, King Hedley II, Gem of the Ocean, and Radio Golf—and in the context of Wilson's entire body of work.

 Editor Alan Nadel's May All Your Fences Have Gates: Essays on the Drama of August Wilson, a work Henry Louis Gates called definitive, focused on the first five plays of Wilson's cycle. This new collection examines from myriad perspectives the way Wilson's final works give shape and focus to his complete dramatic opus. It contains an outstanding and diverse array of discussions from leading Wilson scholars and literary critics. Together, the essays in Nadel's two volumes give Wilson's work the breadth of analysis and understanding that this major figure of American drama merits.

 

Contributors

Herman Beavers

Yvonne Chambers

Soyica Diggs Colbert

Harry J. Elam, Jr.

Nathan Grant

David LaCroix

Barbara Lewis

Alan Nadel

Donald E. Pease

Sandra Shannon

Vivian Gist Spencer

Anthony Stewart

Steven C. Tracy

Dana Williams

Kimmika L. H. Williams-Witherspoon

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-13
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  1. Beginning Again, Again :Business in the Street in Jitney and Gem of the Ocean
  2. pp. 14-29
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  1. Contesting Black Male Responsibilities in August Wilson’s Jitney
  2. pp. 30-40
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  1. Challenging the Stereotypes of Black Manhood: The Hidden Transcript in Jitney
  2. pp. 41-49
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  1. The Holyistic Blues of Seven Guitars
  2. pp. 50-70
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  1. August Wilson’s Lazarus Complex
  2. pp. 71-96
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  1. If We Must Die: Violence as History Lesson in Seven Guitars and King Hedley II
  2. pp. 97-109
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  1. You Can’t Make Life Happen without a Woman: Paternity and the Pitfalls of Structural Design in King Hedley II and Seven Guitars
  2. pp. 110-122
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  1. Turn Your Lamp Down Low! Aunt Ester Dies in King Hedley II. Now What?
  2. pp. 123-133
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  1. Ritual Death and Wilson’s Female Christ
  2. pp. 134-144
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  1. Miss Tyler’s Two Bodies: Aunt Ester and the Legacy of Time
  2. pp. 145-151
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  1. August Wilson and the Demands of Capital
  2. pp. 152-161
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  1. Finite and Final Interruptions: Using Time in Radio Golf
  2. pp. 162-172
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  1. An Exercise in Peripheral Vision: Loyalties, Ironies, and Sports in Radio Golf
  2. pp. 173-185
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  1. Radio Golf in the Age of Obama
  2. pp. 186-206
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  1. Appendix: Discography for Seven Guitars
  2. pp. 207-210
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 211-222
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  1. Notes on Contributors
  2. pp. 223-226
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 227-228
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