Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue: Essays, A Play, Two Poems and a Prayer

Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue: Essays, A Play, Two Poems and a Prayer

by Tony Kushner
     
 

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A collection of writings from the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angels in America. This volume by Tony Kushner features the play Slavs!, a “comic, mordant and marvelously provocative” look at the crumbling of the Soviet Union (SF Chronicle), as well as several essays, two poems and a prayer.

“Kushner is

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Overview


A collection of writings from the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angels in America. This volume by Tony Kushner features the play Slavs!, a “comic, mordant and marvelously provocative” look at the crumbling of the Soviet Union (SF Chronicle), as well as several essays, two poems and a prayer.

“Kushner is an intense and poetical writer, a great shaper of words.” –Laurie Winer, LA Times

“Tony Kushner is drunk on ideas, on language, on the possibility of changing the world. His talent and his heart and his head are incendiary, combustible, explosive, heartbreakingly vital and on-target. This extraordinary new compendium contains enough haunting notions to keep anyone who cares sleepless for eternity. I want everyone to read him and listen to him and, yes goddamnit, think about what he says.” –Larry Kramer

“Terrific: his riff on the political and the personal, the theater of the ridiculous and the theater of the fabulous, synthesizes humor and commitment into wisdom.” –Publishers Weekly

“Tony Kushner's Slavs! just might be the best out-take of a Pulitzer Prize-winning play ever written.” –Greg Evans, Variety

“Bracing…original…rambunctiously funny…seriously moving…part buffoonish burlesque and part tragic satire…Mr. Kushner’s words dazzle, sting and prompt belly laughs.” –Vincent Canby, New York Times

Tony Kushner’s plays include Angels in America; Hydriotaphia, or the Death of Dr. Brown; The Illusion, adapted from the play by Pierre Corneille; Slavs!; A Bright Room Called Day; Homebody/Kabul; Caroline, or Change, a musical with composer Jeanine Tesori; and The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols’s film of Angels in America and for Steven Spielberg’s Munich and Lincoln. His books include The Art of Maurice Sendak: 1980 to the Present; Brundibar, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; and Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, co-edited with Alisa Solomon.
Among many honors, Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, an Olivier Award, an Emmy Award, two Oscar nominations, and the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2012, he was awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. He lives in Manhattan with his husband, Mark Harris.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``If you do political theater,'' says Kushner, author of the play Angels in America, ``you are starting out with one big strike against you. You will have to be better than most, not just as good as.'' He also adds that in ``becoming humorless we lose connection to the most vital parts of our culture.'' In this collection of nine essays (taken from addresses and articles), two lukewarm poems, a play and a moving prayer, he proves the validity of his own maxims. The initial essay, ``Notes About TheaterMy STUMP Speech,'' is terrific: his riff on the political and the personal, the theater of the ridiculous and the theater of the fabulous, synthesizes humor and commitment into wisdom. But the further Kushner's writings get from the personal, and the closer they get to the political, the less interesting they are. None of his pieces is exactly tightly argued, but his politics taken neat are a loose conglomeration of familiar rhetoric generally lacking an individual imprint. His most cogently argued position is that gay liberation must be linked to a fight against oppression of any stripe. Less convincing is his screed against the Gulf war, of which he says, ``No single event during the course of my lifetime [Kushner was born in 1956], nothing that I can remember has occasioned such depression and despair as has the Gulf War.'' The play, a funny, insightful piece set in post-glasnost Russia, explores an ultimate crisis of faith, and in one of its best scenes, the old revolutionary Aleksii Antedilluvianovich Prelapsarianov exclaims ``For ninety years I have wondered... WHY is the Good Cause always defeated by the Bad.... Because God... is a Menshevik!'' (July)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559361002
Publisher:
Theatre Communications Group
Publication date:
04/01/1995
Pages:
276
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author


Tony Kushner’s plays include Angels in America; Hydriotaphia, or the Death of Dr. Brown; The Illusion, adapted from the play by Pierre Corneille; Slavs!; A Bright Room Called Day; Homebody/Kabul; Caroline, or Change, a musical with composer Jeanine Tesori; and The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols’s film of Angels in America and for Steven Spielberg’s Munich and Lincoln. His books include The Art of Maurice Sendak: 1980 to the Present; Brundibar, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; and Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, co-edited with Alisa Solomon.
Among many honors, Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, an Olivier Award, an Emmy Award, two Oscar nominations, and the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2012, he was awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. He lives in Manhattan with his husband, Mark Harris.

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