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James Purdy

Cover of James Purdy

James Purdy

Selected Plays
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Hailed as a creative genius (TLS) and a singular American visionary (New York Times), James Purdy may be best known for his remarkable novels, but he is also an astonishing playwright who has written nine full-length and twenty short plays. Purdy is one of the few contemporary American writers capable of writing tragedy-Tennessee Williams called him a uniquely gifted man of the theater. This collection presents four riveting and beautifully crafted works: Brice, The Paradise Circus, Where Quentin Goes, and Ruthanna Elder. Each explores a range of emotional and familial tangles, as fathers betray their sons and squander their inheritances, siblings compete for parental affection, and husbands and wives try to salvage meaning from their broken marriages. The plays are written in Purdy's authentic idiom, which Paul Bowles called the closest [we have] to a classical American colloquial.

Hailed as a creative genius (TLS) and a singular American visionary (New York Times), James Purdy may be best known for his remarkable novels, but he is also an astonishing playwright who has written nine full-length and twenty short plays. Purdy is one of the few contemporary American writers capable of writing tragedy-Tennessee Williams called him a uniquely gifted man of the theater. This collection presents four riveting and beautifully crafted works: Brice, The Paradise Circus, Where Quentin Goes, and Ruthanna Elder. Each explores a range of emotional and familial tangles, as fathers betray their sons and squander their inheritances, siblings compete for parental affection, and husbands and wives try to salvage meaning from their broken marriages. The plays are written in Purdy's authentic idiom, which Paul Bowles called the closest [we have] to a classical American colloquial.

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About the Author-
  • James Purdy (1914?2009) published more than fifty works of fiction, poetry, and plays, including Malcolm, The Nephew, Eustace Chisholm and the Works, Jeremy's Version, The House of the Solitary Maggot, Gertrude of Stony Island Avenue, and Moe's Villa and Other Stories. He has been translated into over thirty languages. Mr. Purdy received numerous awards for his work, including the Morten Dauwen Zabel Fiction award from the Academy of Arts and Letters and the Fadiman Award from the Mercantile Library.
Reviews-
  • Edward Albee James Purdy's plays have much of the exciting existentiality that infuses his novels and seem content to take drama to interesting places it does not always want to go.
  • Dame Edith Sitwell One of the greatest writers produced in America during the past hundred years.
  • Bradford Morrow These four darkly shimmering plays are a very welcome addition to Purdy's shelf of novels and stories, and once more reveal him to be a pure, unique, and unforgettable voice in the literature of our time.
  • Dorothy Parker Purdy is a writer of the highest rank in originality, insight, and power.
  • John Waters James Purdy's Selected Plays will break your damaged little heart.
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    Ivan R. Dee
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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Selected Plays
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