Contemporary African American Female Playwrights

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Overview

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun (1959) was a major dramatic success and brought to the world's attention the potential talent of African American women playwrights. But in spite of Hansberry's landmark contribution, both the theater and the literary world have often failed to include contemporary African American female playwrights within the circle of production, publication, and criticism. In African American drama anthologies, female playwrights are seldom given the degree of attention that is accorded their male counterparts. And because of space constraints, anthologies of works by women playwrights are forced to exclude numerous female dramatists, including African Americans. Meanwhile, some scholars have argued that the works of African American female playwrights are seldom produced in the mainstream theater because these plays frequently challenge the views of white America. But as A Raisin in the Sun demonstrates, plays by African American women dramatists can have a powerful message and are worthy of attention.

A comprehensive research tool, this annotated bibliography sheds light on the often neglected works of contemporary African American female playwrights. Included within its scope are those dramatists who have had at least one work published since 1959, the year of Hansberry's monumental achievement. The first section provides a listing of anthologies that include one or more plays written by an African American female dramatist. The second gives entries for reference works and for scholarly and critical studies of the dramatists and their plays. The third presents a listing of published plays by individual dramatists, along with a summary of each drama; the works of each playwright that are related to drama; and secondary sources that treat the dramatists and their plays. Entries are accompanied by concise but informative annotations, and the volume closes with a list of periodicals that frequently publish criticism of African American female playwrights, a section of brief biographical sketches of the dramatists, and extensive indexes.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Offers publishing information and brief synopses of the works of 53 playwrights who have published since 1959, as well as short playwright biographies. Also included are listings of 65 anthologies containing the work of at least one African American woman playwright and 55 related works of reference or general criticism. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

DANA A. WILLIAMS is a doctoral candidate in English at Howard University. Her current research interests include African American dramatists and novelists.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Anthologies

General Criticism and Reference Works

Individual Dramatists

Appendix A: Periodicals and Journals

Appendix B: About the Playwrights

Index

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