The Perfectionist and Other Plays

The Perfectionist and Other Plays

by Joyce Carol Oates
     
 

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From one of America's foremost novelists and short story writers comes a stunning new collection of plays, consisting of two full-length plays--THE PERFECTIONIST, nominated for a 1994 American Theatre Critics Award, and BLACK--and nine one-act plays. Charged with tension, menace, and the shock of the unexpected, these dramas showcase yet another dimension of Joyce

Overview

From one of America's foremost novelists and short story writers comes a stunning new collection of plays, consisting of two full-length plays--THE PERFECTIONIST, nominated for a 1994 American Theatre Critics Award, and BLACK--and nine one-act plays. Charged with tension, menace, and the shock of the unexpected, these dramas showcase yet another dimension of Joyce Carol Oates's extraordinary talent.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The highly acclaimed novelist and short story writer is also a very skillful dramatist, as is evident in this stimulating collection of ten one-and two-act plays. "The Perfectionist" takes an incisive look under the skin of a highly respected, middle-aged workaholic who doesn't really know his own family or himself until he meets an exotic and passionate young woman. "Here She Is" is a scathing and memorable parody of a Miss America pageant that counts a thirtysomething housewife and a transvestite among the contestants. With two other play collections in print (e.g., Twelve Plays, LJ 10/15/91; Three Plays, LJ 12/1/80), Oates's dramatic production is catching up with her narrative output. Recommended for all contemporary drama collections.-Howard E. Miller, Alliance Blue Cross & Blue Shield Lib., St. Louis
Jack Helbig
Every now and then a novelist ventures onto the stage. Usually the affair ends badly, but Oates is the exception. During the past decade, the prolific fiction writer has established herself as a startling, original, highly versatile playwright who changes her style and tone as often as Oates the novelist. This new collection of her plays displays her full range. In "Here She Is", which sends up the Miss America Pageant, we have Oates the satirist. In "The Perfectionist", about an annoyingly anal-retentive executive and his dysfunctional family, we have Oates the Gurneyesque writer of mannered comedies. And in "Homesick", about a serial killer and his victim, we have Oates the chilling chronicler of America's dark side. Some of these plays may leave readers vaguely unsatisfied; Oates doesn't always penetrate to the heart of the matter. But even in the weakest of her plays (e.g., the absurdist trifle "The Interview", which sends up the celebrity-mad press), there is an interesting idea or two to chew on.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780880014007
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/28/1995
Pages:
246
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 9.27(h) x 0.97(d)

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