Overview

Love-Lies-Bleeding, Don DeLillo's third play, is a daring, profoundly compassionate story about life, death, art and human connection.

Three people gather to determine the fate of the man who sits in a straight-backed chair saying nothing. He is Alex Macklin, who gave up easel painting to do land art in the southwestern desert, and he is seventy now, helpless in the wake of a second stroke. The people around him are the bearers of a ...
See more details below
Love-Lies-Bleeding

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.93
BN.com price

Overview

Love-Lies-Bleeding, Don DeLillo's third play, is a daring, profoundly compassionate story about life, death, art and human connection.

Three people gather to determine the fate of the man who sits in a straight-backed chair saying nothing. He is Alex Macklin, who gave up easel painting to do land art in the southwestern desert, and he is seventy now, helpless in the wake of a second stroke. The people around him are the bearers of a complicated love, his son, his young wife, the older woman -- his wife of years past -- who feels the emotional tenacity of a love long-ended.

It is their question to answer. When does life end, and when should it end? In this remote setting, without seeking medical or legal guidance, they move unsteadily toward last things.

Luminous, spare, unnervingly comic and always deeply moving, Love-Lies-Bleeding explores a number of perilous questions about the value of life and how we measure it.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
It can be difficult to appreciate a play without seeing it staged, but not in the case of DeLillo's third dramatic effort (after The Day Room and Valparaiso). Land artist Alex appears to be in a persistent vegetative state after a second massive stroke. Ex-wife Toinette and son Sean have come to Alex's isolated southwestern desert home to persuade present wife Lia to join them in helping Alex die, but Lia refuses, insisting that Alex's mind remains undamaged. In poignant and darkly humorous dialog, Toinette, Sean, and Lia argue their respective positions and attempt to define themselves in relation to and independent of Alex, who, except for three flashback scenes, remains silent, albeit on stage. DeLillo does not, however, concentrate solely on personal themes-some of his best scenes dramatize to brilliant tragicomic effect the quotidian details of assisted suicide. Although known chiefly for his experimental novels (Libra; Mao II), DeLillo has become increasingly confident as a dramatist, and we can only hope that he continues his endeavors in this genre. For all collections.-M.C. Duhig, Carnegie Lib. of Pittsburgh Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743281805
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 1/10/2006
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 112
  • File size: 136 KB

Meet the Author

Don DeLillo
Don DeLillo is the author of fifteen novels, including Underworld, Falling Man, White Noise, and Libra. He has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize for his complete body of work, and the William Dean Howells Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2010, he was awarded the PEN/Saul Bellow Prize. The Angel Esmeralda was a finalist for the 2011 Story Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In October 2012, DeLillo receives the Carl Sandburg Literary Award for his body of work.

Biography

Growing up in his working class Bronx neighborhood in the 1940s and '50s, Don De Lillo was far more interested in sports than in books. A listless student, he did not develop an interest in reading until he was 18 and working a summer job as a parking attendant. Desperate to fill in the long, boring hours of downtime, he discovered the literature of Faulkner, Joyce, and Hemingway. He attended Fordham University and worked in advertising for several years before seriously pursuing a writing career.

When De Lillo's first novel, Americana, was published in 1971, it received modest reviews. Seven books followed over the next 14 years, steadily generating more critical praise but few sales. Then, in 1985, he hit pay dirt with White Noise, a brooding postmodern masterpiece about a Midwestern college professor and his family in the aftermath of an airborne toxic accident. It proved to be De Lillo's breakthrough, earning him both a National Book Award and an avid cult following.

Since then, De Lillo has gone on to produce a string of superb "literary" novels that fairly brim with big ideas yet also capture the essence of contemporary culture in all its infuriating banality. Cited by younger writers like Jonathan Franzen and David Foster Wallace as a major influence, De Lillo remains a reserved and private, albeit gracious and genteel man who seems a bit uncomfortable with fame.

Among the many honors De Lillo has received are the Irish Times/Aer Lingus International Fiction Prize for Libra (1989); the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for Mao II (1991); and the Jerusalem Prize, William Dean Howells Medal, and the Riccardo Bacchelli International Award for his magnum opus Underworld (1997). In addition, three of his novels received high marks on a 2006 survey sponsored by The New York Times to name the single best work of American fiction of the last 25 years.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Cleo Birdwell
    2. Hometown:
      Westchester County, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 20, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York City
    1. Education:
      Fordham University, 1958

Read an Excerpt

Love-Lies-Bleeding

A Play
By Don DeLillo

Scribner

Copyright © 2006 Don DeLillo
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0743273060

From Act One

ALEX: a man, seventy

TOINETTE: a woman, late fifties

SEAN: a man, thirty-five

LIA: a woman, early thirties

Two actors appear as Alex. One plays the character in three episodes that precede the main action. The other plays Alex in extremis, a helpless figure attached to a feeding tube.

A spacious room in an old house, remotely located. The set is spare and semi-abstract, with subdued lighting and a few pieces of well-worn furniture, including a sofa. There is also a metal stand equipped with an intravenous feeding setup.

In several scenes a limited sector of the stage functions as playing area.

Act One

Scene 1

Alex and Lia, one year before the main action of the play.

He is haggard, after a stroke, seated in a wheelchair, stage right, isolated from the room set, which is in near darkness. His speech is labored. Lia sits in close proximity, a food bowl within reach.

Across the stage, in scant light, barely visible, there is the sitting figure of a man.

ALEX

I saw a dead man on the subway once. I was ten or eleven, riding with my father. The man was in a corner seat, across the aisle. Only a few people in the car. A dead man sits there. This is the subway. You don't know about this. Nobody looks at anybody else. He sits there, and I'm the only one that sees him. I see him so clearly now I could almost tell you things about his life. My father was reading the newspaper. He liked to follow the horses. He analyzed the charts. He studied the race results. There weren't too many things he followed, my father. Horse races and prizefights. There was a column he always read. If I thought about it long enough, I could tell you the columnist's name.

LIA

And the man. Across the aisle.

ALEX

Nobody paid him the slightest mind. Another sleeping rider, by their dim lights. I watched him steadily. I examined him. I was fixated. When the train rocked. (Pause.) I'm thinking how he sat. He sat against the bulkhead, partly, at the end of the car. When the train rocked, he got bounced around a little and I thought he might topple to the floor. His mouth was open. His face, I swear, it was gray. There wasn't any question in my mind. Dead. All life drained out of him. But in a way I can't explain, it didn't seem strange or forbidding. It seemed forbidding but not in a way that threatened me personally. I accepted what I saw. A rider on the train, going breakneck through the tunnel. It scared me to think he might topple to the floor. That was forbidding. He could have been riding all day. Gray like an animal. He belonged to a different order of nature. The first dead man I'd ever seen and there's never been anyone since who has looked more finally and absolutely dead.

LIA

And your father. What did he do? Did he alert someone when the train reached the next station?

ALEX

I don't know. I don't know if I told him. The memory ends here. I draw a total blank. This is the subway. He's reading the sports pages. The column he's reading is part boldface, part regular type, and I can see the face of the columnist in the little photo set into the type. He has a slick mustache. A racetrack mustache.

LIA

Can you tell me his name?

ALEX

His name will come to me in a minute.

Scene 2

Present time. Lights up on the sitting figure. This is Alex, after a massive second stroke. The rest of the room remains dark.

Alex is motionless in a straight-backed chair with arms. It is now possible to see that he is attached to hydration and feeding tubes that extend from a metal stand next to the chair. His eyes are open, mouth open slightly. His hair is cropped. He is clean shaven and neatly dressed -- casual pants and shirt, new pair of running shoes.

Lights up on entire room. Toinette and Sean are situated some distance from the sitting figure.

TOINETTE

I don't like sharing a toilet.

SEAN

Maybe I can use the shed.

TOINETTE

Nothing personal.

SEAN

Or dig a hole somewhere.

TOINETTE

What will she say?

SEAN

You know what she'll say.

TOINETTE

I don't know her. I know her for half a day.

SEAN

I don't know her much longer.

TOINETTE

You've been here before.

SEAN

Once. After the first stroke. He was home from the hospital. She was looking after him, very capably, without help. That's what she wanted then and that's what she wants now.

TOINETTE

Do you think she has any idea?

SEAN

Tell her.

TOINETTE

You tell her.

SEAN

You must have shared a toilet with Alex. Somewhere along the way.

TOINETTE

We shared many things. We exhausted each other. We shared our exhaustion.

SEAN

She does everything one person can do for another. A male fantasy of the caring woman. But not really. She's not a little house sparrow. She's smart and tough. Stubborn too.

TOINETTE

Finally what we shared was silence. The entire last year. Everything became internal. Shapeless and motionless. Vaguely sinister. Each of us wishing the other dead in a car crash. I'd sit and study that look of his. Angry and dangerous. Always a question in it. He's puzzled by something.

SEAN (IN ALEX'S VOICE)

I'm probing, I'm searching. Trying to figure out exactly what it is that makes me want to tear out your liver and use it in a painting.

TOINETTE

Our car crashes were different. In my mind, Alex was the only victim. Lying there looking okay, actually, sort of presentably dead.

SEAN

The crash in his mind. What?

TOINETTE

Three or four cars. Nine or ten dead. My friends, colleagues, secret lovers. And I'm in the middle of it, smashed and burnt. All right, I wanted him dead at times. But not scattered into smoky little pieces.

SEAN

That's the difference between men and women.

TOINETTE

That look became a fixed look. We'd seen the last of our living, breathing days and nights.

SEAN

But you're here. Because -- tell me.

TOINETTE

There were times, I swear, when we were living in the same skin. That's how I remember it and that's what I want to believe. Makes it easier to understand how we could live as enemies, off and on, for as long as we did. I'm here to be with him, that's all. I want to be close -- close as we can get, he and I. I've been here before. You know this.

SEAN

No, I don't know this.

TOINETTE

Couple of days. Long before Lia. Maybe it had a mellowing effect.

SEAN

Why don't I know this? I thought we talked, you and I.

TOINETTE

It was six or seven years ago, and many years after he and I had lost contact. The old furies were not so intense. I guess we both felt this, telepathically. He called out of nowhere. This is nowhere, isn't it? Said come visit for a few days.

SEAN

What happened?

TOINETTE

I don't know. What happened?

SEAN

Did you make reparations? Talk in the same old way. Sleep in the same old bed.

TOINETTE

Why so interested?

SEAN

I'm interested in his life.

TOINETTE

Get your own.

SEAN

He's my father.

TOINETTE

Look at him.

Sean does not look.

Copyright ©2006 by Don DeLillo

Continues...


Excerpted from Love-Lies-Bleeding by Don DeLillo Copyright © 2006 by Don DeLillo. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)