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People Who Led to My Plays
     

People Who Led to My Plays

by Adrienne Kennedy
 

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In this remarkable memoir, Adrienne Kennedy charts her life from growing up in Cleveland in the 1930s and 40s in a middle-class black family through marriage and motherhood and her eventual move to New York City in the 50s. Out of a sequence of deceptively spare statements emerges a complex portrait of the artist as a young woman as she examines the people and

Overview


In this remarkable memoir, Adrienne Kennedy charts her life from growing up in Cleveland in the 1930s and 40s in a middle-class black family through marriage and motherhood and her eventual move to New York City in the 50s. Out of a sequence of deceptively spare statements emerges a complex portrait of the artist as a young woman as she examines the people and events that compelled her to be a writer.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"People Who Led to My Plays has served as a model for me in considering how one’s artistic practice is rooted and thrives in the soil of the past and how an artist uses history (with a small and a large “h”) as the raw material for one’s practice, molding and transforming and bringing it into the present. I thank you for your extraordinary work in unpacking black life on the stage and showing us how truly rich and strange it is." --Glenn Ligon

"I have been reading and teaching People Who Led to My Plays since its first publication in 1987. At once collage, diary, memoir and annotated scrapbook, it felt miraculous then and still does. With fearless imagination and formal daring, Adrienne Kennedy has given us A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman and an American literary classic." --Margo Jefferson

"Adrienne Kennedy has introduced a new form of black autobiography, one that, like her plays, will be widely imitated. Like most great artists in whose work different cultures and styles converge, she is unique." --Ishmael Reed

"Just as her brilliant plays changed what was possible on the stage, Adrienne Kennedy's autobiography transformed the form. Written with a poet's insight and a dramatist's sense of form, Kennedy's autobiography is a classic--one that not only illuminates her singular work, but the world and politics that made her." --Hilton Als

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As the bittersweet recollections of a young black growing up in Ohio in the 1940s, aspiring to be a famous writer, this scrapbook suffers from its deliberately fragmented format. Kennedy, whose Funnyhouse of a Negro won a 1964 Obie Award, seems to be adapting here the nonlinear style of her avant-garde plays. Hundreds of very short, titled entries (``Junior High,'' ``My Father,'' ``Paul Robeson,'' ``Frank Sinatra'') add up to a jumbled self-portrait of a writer slowly finding her direction. She also presents a compendium of creative artists, famous people, friends and relatives who in any way influenced her work. We get scores of brief entries on Bette Davis, Marlon Brando, Beethoven, Richard Wright, Jackson Pollock, Chopin, Duke Ellington, Socrates and dozens more. Readers with an abiding interest in Kennedy's dramatic output may find this encyclopedic approach worth the effort. (June)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559361255
Publisher:
Theatre Communications Group
Publication date:
09/01/1996
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

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