Lorraine Hansberry

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Overview

Born in the Southside of Chicago in 1930, Lorraine Hansberry and her family moved to a large house in a white neighborhood in 1938. In order to live there, her father had to fight a civil rights case in the Supreme Court against segregationists. Her experiences with racial discrimination fueled her strong commitment to social justice and inspired her works. In 1959, her first-produced play, A Raisin in the Sun, met the enthusiastic praise of Broadway critics and audiences alike. It was the first and longest running play by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway. When it won the New York Drama Circle Award for the best new drama that year, Hansberry became the first black woman and the youngest recipient to earn that honor. She died just a few years later, in 1965, without ever fully realizing her potential. This reference book is a guide to her career.

The volume begins with a chronology that recounts the major events in Hansberry's brief but influential life. Entries are then listed for her plays, including A Raisin in the Sun(1959), The Sign in Sidney Brustein's WindoW (1964), To Be Young, Gifted and Black (1969), Les Blancs (1970), The Drinking Gourd (1972), What Use Are Flowers (1972), and the unfinished Toussaint (1986). Each entry includes a plot summary, critical commentary, and production information, when available. An annotated bibliography of works by and about Hansberry, along with a list of unpublished material and archival sources, complete the volume.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Provides a critical summary of Lorraine Hansberry's career, her accomplishments as a dramatist, and her personal life. Includes annotated bibliographies of theatrical reviews, summaries of her plays, production/credit information, and an essay for each published play which reviews its critical reception. In addition, some attention is given to screen and television adaptations of her works. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

RICHARD M. LEESON is Professor of English at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas.

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Table of Contents

Preface

A Note on Codes and Numbering

Chronology

Life and Career

The Plays: Summaries, Productions, and Critical Overviews

Primary Bibliography: Works by Hansberry

Secondary Bibliography: Reviews

Secondary Bibliography: Books, Articles, Sections

Author Index: Secondary Bibliographies

General Index

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