Talley's Folly

Overview

Winner of 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

The scene is the ornate, deserted Victorian boathouse on the Talley place in Lebanon, Missouri; the time 1944. Matt Friedman, an accountant from St. Louis, has arrived to plead his love to Sally Talley, the susceptible, but uncertain daughter of the family. Bookish, erudite, totally honest and delightfully funny, Matt refuses to accept Sally's rebuffs and her fears that her family would never approve of their marriage. Charming and ...

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Overview

Winner of 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

The scene is the ornate, deserted Victorian boathouse on the Talley place in Lebanon, Missouri; the time 1944. Matt Friedman, an accountant from St. Louis, has arrived to plead his love to Sally Talley, the susceptible, but uncertain daughter of the family. Bookish, erudite, totally honest and delightfully funny, Matt refuses to accept Sally's rebuffs and her fears that her family would never approve of their marriage. Charming and indomitable, he gradually overcomes her defenses, telling his innermost secrets to his loved one and, in return, learning hers as well. Gradually he awakens Sally to the possibilities of a life together until, in the final, touching moments of the play, it is clear that they are two kindred spirits who have truly found each other—two "lame ducks" who, in their union, will find a wholeness rare in human relationships.

With compassion and humor, two lively, lovable people open up their interior worlds. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

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Editorial Reviews

NY Post
It is perhaps the simplest, the most lyrical play Wilson has written—a funny, sweet, touching and marvelously written and contrived love poem for an apple and an orange.
NY Times
...Mr. Wilson is one of our most gifted playwrights, a dramatist who deals perceptively with definably American themes...he introduces us to two wonderful people, humanizing and warming them with the radiance of his abundant talent. TALLEY'S FOLLY is a play to savor and cheer.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mitchell (illustrator of Sleep Song) displays a talent for portraiture in this winning first solo effort. Her oil paintings crisply silhouette expressive African American characters and boldly hued, patterned fabrics against spare white backdrops. In the tale, energetic Aunt Phoebe, a "collector of life" whose home overflows with treasures, shows wide-eyed Amber one of her acquisitions: a finely embroidered and hand-printed adinkra cloth from Ghana, at one point reserved for royalty. Such fabrics "talk," explains Aunt Phoebe, who then describes the meaning of some colors and symbols. The illustrations can be static and the settings undefined, but the characters' faces illuminate their personalities and their rapport with one another. Though Mitchell's text contains bits of convincing dialogue, it is the portraits that reveal Amber's father's good-natured skepticism about the value of his sister's "junk pile," Aunt Phoebe's satisfaction in sharing her finds and-most glowingly-Amber's delight when, in her quick imagination, the adinkra transforms her into an Ashanti princess. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Donna Brumby
Young Amber's daddy says that his sister lives in a "junk pile," but Amber is intrigued and captivated by her Aunt Phoebe's eclectic collection of life, especially the interesting, beautiful adrinka cloth from Ghana. Rhonda Mitchell's bright paintings include only the details necessary to the story, excellently illustrating the personalities of her characters and the brilliance of the adrinka cloth. Aunt Phoebe "knows things," and encourages her niece, and all of us, to continually grow on the inside. The fascinating story of The Talking Cloth should appeal to inquiring young readers, and it offers parents and educators a useful stepping-off point for leading further investigation and hands-on amplification.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2A picture book that tells a story about a black family as it provides an introduction to West African culture. Aunt Phoebe, a wise and seasoned traveler, tells her niece, Amber, about the adinkra cloth and how it is meant to be used. In this way, the woman helps the girl understand another culture and how their family is related to it. Mitchell's rich and colorful oil paintings realistically portray African carvings and cloths, particularly the adinkra cloth made by the Ashanti people of Ghana. Through the illustrations, Mitchell shows the relationship between Aunt Phoebe and Amber's father. Aunt Phoebe, through her travels and knowledge, keeps traditions alive by passing them on to the younger generation, despite the seeming ambivalence of her brother. However, his angry looks and body language are never discussed in the text, and children may not realize why he seems so stern and unhappy. Still, this is a solid story about traditions, culture, and knowledge, told within the context of family.Carol Jones Collins, Montclair Kimberley Academy, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822216261
  • Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1998
  • Pages: 54
  • Sales rank: 800,009
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 7.68 (h) x 0.15 (d)

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