From the Publisher
"The strongest, most passionate American dramatic writing since Tennessee Williams."—The New York Post
"Fences leaves no doubt that Mr. Wilson is a major writer, combining a poet's ear for vernacular with a robust sense of humor, a sure sense for crackling dramatic incident, and a passionate commitment to a great subject."—The New York Times
"A blockbuster piece of theater, a major American play."—New York Daily News
"An eloquent play... a comedy-drama that is well-nigh flawless."—New York Magazine
"A moving story line and a hero almost Shakespearian in contour."—The Wall Street Journal
"A work of tremendous impact that summons up gratitude for the beauty of its language, the truth of its character, the power of its portrayals."—Chicago Tribune
"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hopeful, and passionate in expectation; then emotionally withdrawn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.