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Fences (1986)

by August Wilson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Century Cycle: Production Order (play 4), Century Cycle: Chronological Order (1950s)

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1,784189,429 (3.81)77
Fences represents the decade of the 1950s, and, when it premiered in 1985, it won the Pulitzer Prize. Set during the beginnings of the civil rights movement, it also concerns generational change and renewal, ending with a celebration of the life of its protagonist, even though it takes place at his funeral. Critics and scholars have lauded August Wilson's work for its universality and its ability, especially in Fences, to transcend racial barriers and this play helped to earn him the titles of "America's greatest playwright" and "the African American Shakespeare."… (more)
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» See also 77 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  lschiff | 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. ( )
  jonbrammer | Jul 1, 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. ( )
  sacredheart25 | Jan 3, 2023 |
Rose
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
A rich, tragic, restless play. An encasulation of the American Dream, as we see it for Jim Crow-era Black Americans. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilson, AugustAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Richards, LloydIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Fences represents the decade of the 1950s, and, when it premiered in 1985, it won the Pulitzer Prize. Set during the beginnings of the civil rights movement, it also concerns generational change and renewal, ending with a celebration of the life of its protagonist, even though it takes place at his funeral. Critics and scholars have lauded August Wilson's work for its universality and its ability, especially in Fences, to transcend racial barriers and this play helped to earn him the titles of "America's greatest playwright" and "the African American Shakespeare."

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