Fences

( 40 )

Overview

 The 1987 Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama

From August Wilson, author of The Piano Lesson and the 1984-85 Broadway season's best play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, is another powerful, stunning dramatic work that has won him numerous critical acclaim including the 1987 Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize. The protagonist of Fences (part of Wilson’s ten-part “Pittsburgh Cycle” plays), Troy Maxson, is a strong man, a hard man. He has had to be to survive. ...

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Overview

 The 1987 Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama

From August Wilson, author of The Piano Lesson and the 1984-85 Broadway season's best play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, is another powerful, stunning dramatic work that has won him numerous critical acclaim including the 1987 Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize. The protagonist of Fences (part of Wilson’s ten-part “Pittsburgh Cycle” plays), Troy Maxson, is a strong man, a hard man. He has had to be to survive.  Troy Maxson has gone through life in an America where to be proud and black is to face pressures that could crush a man, body and soul. But the1950s are yielding to the new spirit of liberation in the 1960s... a spirit that is changing the world Troy Maxson has learned to deal with the only way he can...a spirit that is making him a stranger, angry and afraid, in a world he never knew and to a wife and son he understands less and less...

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Editorial Reviews

Sacred Fire
"There are only fences"

Troy Maxson is an angry man. He is an embittered ex-con who has built inner fences around his emotions that no one—neither his son Gory, his wife, Rosa Lee, nor his best friend, Jim—can cross. A proud and bitter man who was prevented by racism from playing major league baseball, Maxson is at fifty- three years of age a garbage collector. While his job allows him to successfully provide for his family, handling garbage represents for him a grim metaphor of his life. As he did during a bit in prison, he once again feels confined, and those who love him most, who depend on him most, suffer most for it.

Through Troy Maxson, playwright August Wilson personifies the man who grew up during the heat of Jim Crow: first proud, hopeful, and passionate in expectation; then emotionally withdrawn and disillusioned from incessant battles with life. Wilson also masterfully illuminates both the strength that lies within community and the adverse impact of a psychology of inequality that devastates the African American male and, in turn, his family and relationships, potentially disintegrating that same community.

Wilson's Pulitzer Prize—winning play offers a bleak picture of what happens to black males when their aspirations go beyond the fences within which they are confined. The fences of a racist society are compounded by the fences black men have often created to ward off loved ones who remind them of their failures. These fences only harbor. pain and hasten an inevitable asphyxiation. Fences is a gripping portrait of a black man dying.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452264014
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/28/1986
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 27,521
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

August Wilson is a major American playwright whose work has been consistently acclaimed as among the finest of the American theater. His first play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for best new play of 1984-85. His second play, Fences, won numerous awards for best play of the year, 1987, including the Tony Award, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. Joe Turner's Come and Gone, his third play, was also voted best play of 1987-88 by the New York Drama Critics' Circle. In 1990, Wilson was awarded his second Pulitzer Prize for The Piano Lesson.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 40 )
Rating Distribution

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(16)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    this book sucks

    the play is called "Fences", Troy Maxson is the father in this play he is trying to support his family. Cory Maxson is a struggling athlete who is looking for support from his family. Rose Maxson is the strong one trying to keep the household together. the play takes place in Pittsburgh,PA. the time period is the 1950's through the 60's.

    the story was very bland there was not a good story line the characteres didnt really appeal to me in a certain manner. the use of language was very rude the way people were treated was very horrible. Troy Maxson is a very mean father. This play i wouldnt recomond to anyone the play was horrible.The story if anyone were to read it should just pick up another book and begin to read that one.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Play!

    The play is a pretty nice short read. It talks about the civil rights time. The dialogue is pretty dramatic which kept me entertained. It's also a pretty short read and took me about 3 days to complete. Most people can probably read the whole thing in 1 day. If your looking for a short book to past the time, this would be a great book to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    "Fences" - August Wilson

    This play was assigned to my English class, and (knowing my teacher) I was expecting something that had many levels and depth to the characters. Well, that's what I got. All of the characters (Troy, Rose, Cory, Gabe, Bono, etc) are three dimensional. They aren't flat and predictable. There are plenty of symbols and foreshadowing which I won't disclose here for the sake of keeping it a surprise ;-), and it keeps you curious about what will happen next.
    This isn't a fluffy and heartwarming story.
    It's an "easy" read and can be finished in a day.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2005

    Fences

    I found that Fences was a good book. It showed a great perspective of how families really are. It shows the families ups and downs and how they react to it. It is about a man named Troy and his friends and family. Toy is a quick-tempered man and some people get tired of it. Other people learn do deal with it and just stay out of his way. Everything changes when Troy starts going down to Taylor¿s and hangs out. He is abusive to his wife¿s boy Cory. Cory says its because Troy is afraid that he will be better than him. Cory got recruited to a school but Troy won¿t sign the papers for him to go. Troy has been in jail before and has brought out memories of it. He met a man in jail. His name is Bono and is now his best friend. They both work together unloading trucks. One day Troy gets fed up the white people sit in the car as the blacks unload the trucks. He goes to the commission board and becomes the first black man to drive the truck. His family is proud of him. Troy was once a big baseball player but didn¿t get very far, he claims this is because he is black. Troy¿s brother Gabriel was in World War II. While there, he got half his face blown off, and because of this he a confused man. Troy likes to tell family stories. He tells how he has had to fight death and what the battle was like. My thought on this story is that it was good. I like the way every scene opened and closed. There weren¿t to many characters in it. It also had a good moral to it. Those were my thoughts on the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2005

    JUST AWESOME

    This book is great. Everyone who is having problems in their lives need to read this. It changes lives. Thanks to the author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2005

    Great book

    Fences To me the book is great because it captures a lot of stuff from the past and its mostly telling how they lived during those times (1950-1960). Like how hard it is to get a job, hard to avoid going to jail, how hard to keep a roof over your head, and much more. The book is also about how it is to struggle to keep the family together and how. Troy got it tough when he was a child always stealing to get food for his family. But then Troy is harsh on his child so they can face the real world like he did when he was young. And it works for Cory and he watch for other people to and how everything is baseball for Troy from solving his problems and playing the game and how better he is from everyone else. And how care and loving his wife is to her family trying to help them solve their problems but most of the time Troy doesn¿t want her help and always ask her when dinner. Their family always fights either over money or family problems or about school. The best thing about it that it¿s a play to so you can act it out with your friends. This book deserved to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama this book has funny parts to it, drama, unexpected scenes and more. Then all this drama and unexpected within 101 pages. August Wilson is a mastermind for making this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    This play was very casual in the beginning. The play had a stric

    This play was very casual in the beginning. The play had a strict husband/ father and a sweet wife. There was a potentially successful son who would be denied his opportunity by his own father. The son will not like this. I liked this book a lot because it was a very short book and because it was very interesting. Whenever i read the book it made me wonder what i would do if i had a strict father. I read the book ahead of my class so it took me about 2 days to read it. This book was great i learned a lot from the book. August Wilson used a lot of personification to introduce death so look out for that. The book also showed of how family could turn out to be and how bad things can happen.Cory is the son and he slowly begins to lose his fear for his father, ironically like Troy did with his father. In the end the right action was taken by Troy and August Wilson reveals that in the end using a very special and symbolic character. Troy is not satisfied in the end with his actions and there is still a lot of tension with him and his son even after what occurs. The book will get very interesting and overall as i said before it is a great book, if you're looking for a short, good read, this book is perfect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2012

    This play in my opinion was not my favorite play of all time but

    This play in my opinion was not my favorite play of all time but an understandable and relatable play to the reader. It provides the knowledge of how racism has effected a family and how it leaves the family with not sorrow but repent, repent on losing oppurtunities due to racism. Although it provides you with knowledge on how the hardship throughout that event was it felt short to my expectation. Such as the play was short itself, and how the play itself skipped six months in one scene and 2 years in another. On the other hand the characters were protrayed well and not predictable, I also enjoy how curiosity was constant throughout the play as well!

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  • Posted December 18, 2012

    I just finished reading fences a couple of days ago and in my op

    I just finished reading fences a couple of days ago and in my opinion, fences is a pretty good book. The book portrays  a 53 year old man putting up emotional fences between him and his wife , him and his best friend, also him and his son. While he puts up and emotional fences, throughout the play he struggles to finish building a fence that his wife rose constantly remind him to finish. While building fences Troy Maxson faces many internal conflicts because of a dispute that turned physical between him and his dad.troy lacks affection in all of his relationships. When Troy was younger his dad lacked affection. However both were good providers. Troy Maxson  turns out tone just like the man he feared. This book takes you into a lot of drama and a lot of irony it draws your attention. Fences keeps you thinking and wondering what's going to happen net between each of the characters.

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  • Posted December 18, 2012

    fences was a good book to read in english class because it showe

    fences was a good book to read in english class because it showed you some of african american hardships and some of the things they went trough back then so you an learn some things. this book was fast to read it kept you hook and it kept you thinking was going to happen next which is a good thing.

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  • Posted December 18, 2012

    I highly recommend this book because first off this is a quick r

    I highly recommend this book because first off this is a quick read, and its a drama. It has alot of twist and turns. It is the type of book that you wouldnt stop reading because its that good. I think it touched me alot, it was a goosebump kind of book. You get a feel of how each character really is. By the end your jaw will drop! highly recommend, so go to your local library and pick up a copy ! Thanks Guys :) -Destiny Guzman

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  • Posted December 18, 2012

    The book Fences is an amazing story. It's a book where things yo

    The book Fences is an amazing story. It's a book where things you never expect comes out to be true. Its short and a nice book to read whenever your bored or just want to entertain yourself. The climax is the most interesting part. It will leave you in different kinds of emotions like upset, shock, mad and many more emotions. Its a story that will fill your heart. Its a play to start off with which is amazing to act as in a class. If you have time to read this play please do you won't regret it one bit. 

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  • Posted December 17, 2012

    Fences is a great play. It takes place in the 1950's with Africa

    Fences is a great play. It takes place in the 1950's with African Americans . It shows the racial prejidce that occured .Troy the protagonist was an excellent baseball player that never got a shot in the major leagues He goes through a lot of problems and commits a few mistakes. In the long run the play was great but the ending is not as expected. I feel like i can connect with thhe characters.

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  • Posted December 17, 2012

    This book is a great book, that can explain in a easy ways how a

    This book is a great book, that can explain in a easy ways how african americans were treaded between 40's and 60's, and how families worked.In this play the main characters is called Troy a very self minded man that played baseball when hi was young, but never got play in the major leagues because of his sking color. This affected his entire life and people around him, like his son cory that wanted to play football, but troy didnt wanted him to play beacuse he didnt wanted cory going through what he went through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    Fences is a work of art, once you start you cant stop until you

    Fences is a work of art, once you start you cant stop until you have finish it. August Wilson explores a time where racism was at it max, a time when many african americans where trated unfairly. Fences is a play that potrays the many roles of an African-American family that lives during a difficult period of time when Africans were being segagrated.The best part about this book is that its only about 100 pages, its a short and easy book to read. The main characters act and feel as if they were real. Everyone should read this book, its an amazing story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2012

    I read this book in my high school Lit class and loved it. My c

    I read this book in my high school Lit class and loved it. My class couldn't help but fall in love with the notorious line spoken by Rose when she decides to raise Troy's child and tells him "you a womanless man". The journey of Troy is an unforgettable one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    Fences

    "Fences" written by August Wilson tells a story set in Pittsburg about a son who wants affection and recognition from his dad. This family is black and live in times where there was a lot of discrimination. Throughout the play there are many mini - drama's developing in with each person.

    I liked this story because it was so interesting and different from stories I would normally read or movies I would normally watch. My favorite parts from the play were when the dad and the son were fighting and Troy told Rose that he cheated on her. I also think it's sweet how Rose took in Raylene.

    I reccomend this play to anyone who is open - minded and adventurous. It is interesting the whole time if you pay enough attention. Everyone should give this a chance.

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  • Posted November 2, 2011

    Highly Recommended- A Must Read !

    This book was amazing. An attention grabber straight from the beginning. You might feel like you're losing some brain cells from the old time slang but other than that it was great. There were very intense scenes where I could actually feel what the character was feeling and at times I had to remind myself to calm down for its only a book. I recommend this book to absolutely everyone, its also fairly brief so if you're someone who has a short attention span or just doesn't like long books this is good for you. I want to look into other books from this author because I really liked this one.

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

    Simply Amazing!

    August Wilson brilliantly wrote Fences with strong, passionate characters that come alive right before the reader. The play makes commentary on the human condition while dealing with racism, adultery, betray, war and death while depicting the hardships between the relationships of father and son, and husband and wife.

    Absolutely amazing! . .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2004

    Fences-Awesome!!

    Fences is without a doubt a triumph! Fences is a remarkable, life- relating, story! I'ts one of those books you'll never forget after you read it. It stays with you forever! This is a classic! August Wilson put together a masterpiece!

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