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August Wilson (1945–2005)

Author of Fences

30+ Works 4,981 Members 58 Reviews 12 Favorited

About the Author

Playwright August Wilson was born on April 27, 1945 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His experiences of living in a primarily black community and then being the only black student in his class at a Roman Catholic high school would inform his dramatic writings. He dropped out of school at the age of 15 show more and continued his education on his own. Wilson wrote a ten play cycle that chronicles each decade of the black experience in the 20th century. Each of his plays focuses on what he perceived as the largest issue to confront African-Americans in that decade. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Fences and Piano Lesson, the best play Tony Award for Fences, and seven New York Drama Critics' Circle awards. He also received the Whiting Foundation Award, the American Theatre Critics Award, the 1999 National Humanities Medal awarded by the President, and numerous honorary degrees. He died of liver cancer on October 2, 2005 at the age of 60. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

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What a beautifully written, powerful play. My daughter will be reading this in her English class next week--she let me read it ahead of time and I'm so glad I did.
 
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lschiff | 17 other reviews | Sep 24, 2023 |
I read this play at the same time as Hansberry's _A Raisin in the Sun_. I will be reading this with my 11th graders in the coming weeks, and _Raisin_ with my 9th graders. It is interesting to see how these two plays depict the African-American experience in the 1950's, on the verge of the civil rights movement, in cities like Pittsburgh and Chicago. Both plays have at their center the character of a conflicted black male patriarch, whose struggle with his identity ends up destroying the dreams of their families. Troy Maxson, a former Negro league baseball player, spitefully keeps his son from pursuing a college football scholarship, passing his own frustrations down to the next generation.… (more)
 
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jonbrammer | 17 other reviews | Jul 1, 2023 |
This Is a very interesting read about Black families and their specific struggles and connection to enslavement. This story follows a family who finds an interesting marking from an enslaved family member. This story definitely has strong works and interesting themes. This story is a strong read for African-American students if they would like stories that specifically follow black households and their struggles with classifications and issues that may arise when it come to race and identity.
 
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TUscript | 11 other reviews | May 21, 2023 |
I read this quickly. I had seen the film version [edited] which was excellent, starring Mrs. Davis and Mr. Washington. Lots of uncovering of hidden personal traumas and new ways of coping amongst the various characters. Many good and charming stage effects are put into play here. The short Introduction by Lloyd Richards (Director of the Opening Night, New Haven production) emphasized Wilson's exposition of four generations of black Americans retold by Troy Maxson.
 
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sacredheart25 | 17 other reviews | Jan 3, 2023 |

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