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Author photo. <br>Courtesy of the <a href="http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?483006">NYPL Digital Gallery</a><br>(image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)


Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery
(image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

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Eugene O'Neill was born in New York City on October 16, 1888, the son of popular actors James O'Neill and Ellen Quinlan. As a young child, he frequently went on tour with his father and later attended a Catholic boarding school and a private preparatory school. He entered Princeton University but stayed for only a year. He took a variety of jobs, including prospecting for gold, shipping out as a merchant sailor, joining his father on the stage, and writing for newspapers. In 1912, he was hospitalized for tuberculosis and emotional exhaustion. While recovering, he read a great deal of dramatic literature and, after his release from the sanitarium, began writing plays. O'Neill got his theatrical start with a group known as the Provincetown Players, a company of actors, writers, and other theatrical newcomers, many of whom went on to achieve commercial and critical success. His first plays were one-act works for this group, works that combined realism with experimental forms. O'Neill's first commercial successes, Beyond the Horizon (1920) and Anna Christie (1921) were traditional realistic plays. Anna Christie is still frequently performed. It is the story of a young woman, Anna, whose hard life has led her to become a prostitute. Anna comes to live with her long-lost father, who is unaware of her past, and she falls in love with a sailor, who is also unaware. When Anna finds the two men fighting over her as though she were property, she is so angry and disgusted that she insists on telling them the truth. The man she loves rejects her at first, but then later returns to marry her. Soon O'Neill began to experiment more, and over the next 12 years used a wide variety of unusual techniques, settings, and dramatic devices. It is no exaggeration to say that, virtually on his own, O'Neill created a tradition of serious American theater. His influence on the playwrights who followed him has been enormous, and much of what is taken today for granted in modern American theater originated with O'Neill. A major legacy has been the nine plays he wrote between 1924 and 1931, tragedies that made heavy use of the new Freudian psychology just coming into fashion. His one comedy, Ah, Wilderness (1933), was the basis for the musical comedy, Oklahoma!, itself a groundbreaking event in American theater. O'Neill later began to write the intense, brooding, and highly autobiographical plays that are now considered to his best work. The Iceman Cometh (1946) is set in a bar in Manhattan's Bowery, or skid-row district. In the course of the play, a group of apparently happy men are forced to recognize the true emptiness of their lives. In A Long Day's Journey into Night (1956), O'Neill examines his own family and their tormented lives, a subject he continues in A Moon for the Misbegotten (1957). O'Neill's work was highly honored. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1936 and Pulitzer Prizes for Anna Christie, Beyond the Horizon, Strange Interlude (1928), and A Long Day's Journey Into Night, which also received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. O'Neill died in Room 401 of the Sheraton Hotel on Bay State Road in Boston, on November 27, 1953, at the age of 65. He was also born in a hotel room in Times Square, NYC. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from Long Day's Journey into Night
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Long Day's Journey into Night 3,177 copies, 33 reviews
The Iceman Cometh 1,232 copies, 8 reviews
Nine Plays 413 copies, 1 review
A Moon for the Misbegotten (Author) 345 copies, 4 reviews
Mourning Becomes Electra (Author) 315 copies, 2 reviews
Complete Plays 1932-1943 292 copies, 4 reviews
Complete Plays 1913-1920 265 copies, 4 reviews
Complete Plays 1920-1931 256 copies, 2 reviews
Ah, Wilderness! 212 copies, 3 reviews
The Emperor Jones 183 copies, 2 reviews
Strange Interlude 150 copies, 5 reviews
A Touch of the Poet 143 copies, 2 reviews
Desire Under the Elms 133 copies, 6 reviews
Anna Christie 131 copies, 4 reviews
Seven Plays of the Sea (Author) 127 copies, 1 review
The Hairy Ape 115 copies, 4 reviews
Six Short Plays 57 copies, 1 review
Hughie 39 copies
Ten "Lost" Plays 38 copies, 1 review
Lazarus Laughed 32 copies
Marco Millions 30 copies
Dynamo 26 copies, 1 review
Exorcism: A Play in One Act 18 copies, 3 reviews
Lost Plays 14 copies
The Moon of the Caribbees 12 copies, 1 review
The Straw 12 copies
The First Man 12 copies
Penguin Plays 11 copies
In the Zone 10 copies
Drammi marini 10 copies
Diff'rent 8 copies
Ile 7 copies
Welded 7 copies
Meisterdramen 6 copies
Plays 5 copies
Before breakfast 5 copies, 1 review
The Rope 5 copies
Teatro 2 copies
Gold 2 copies
Abortion 2 copies
Plays 2 copies
Mourning Becomes Electra [1947 film] (Screenwriter) 2 copies
The Straw 1 copy
5 plays 1 copy
Olje / Ile 1 copy
Teatr 1 copy
Ile 1 copy
Servitude 1 copy
Plays 1 copy
Fermenti 1 copy
Oltre l'orizzonte 1 copy, 1 review
The Sniper 1 copy
TRAANIA 1 copy
Opere 1 copy
Homecoming 1 copy
Dr 1 copy
Drámák 1 copy
Fog 1 copy
Le opere 1 copy
Il castoro 1 copy
The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader (Contributor) 366 copies, 2 reviews
Eight Great Tragedies (Contributor) 359 copies, 1 review
Six Modern American Plays (Contributor) 244 copies, 1 review
24 Favorite One Act Plays (Contributor) 244 copies, 1 review
Masterpieces of the Drama (Contributor) 166 copies, 2 reviews
This Is My Best (Contributor) 162 copies
Sixteen Famous American Plays (Playwright, some editions) 162 copies, 1 review
Famous American Plays of the 1920s (Contributor) 125 copies, 1 review
Thirty Famous One-Act Plays (Contributor) 97 copies, 2 reviews
Four modern plays (Contributor) 68 copies
Contemporary Drama: 15 Plays (Contributor) 67 copies, 1 review
The Theatre Guild Anthology (Contributor) 58 copies
Modern and Contemporary Drama (Contributor) 41 copies, 1 review
Best American Plays: Fifth Series, 1957-1963 (Contributor) 37 copies, 1 review
Ten Great One Act Plays (Contributor) 33 copies
14 great plays (Contributor) 29 copies
World's Great Plays (Contributor) 21 copies
Anna Christie [1930 film] (Original play) 18 copies
New Girl in Town (Original play Anna Christie) 17 copies
Twelve Classic One-Act Plays (Contributor) 14 copies
Anathema!: Litanies of Negation (Introduction, some editions) 14 copies
The Long Voyage Home [1940 film] (Original play) 13 copies, 1 review
Macbeth & The Emperor Jones (Contributor) 10 copies
The Iceman Cometh [1973 film] (Original play) 5 copies
Ah, Wilderness! [1976 TV episode] (Original play) 2 copies
The Iceman Cometh [1960 film] (Original play) 2 copies
American Plays (Contributor) 2 copies, 1 review
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