Tom Stoppard: A Lifeby Ira Bruce Nadel
Tom Stoppard is, arguably, the greatest living English playwright. His work, from the early Jumpers to the film Shakespeare in Love to the current Invention of Love has changed the landscape of drama. Witty, erudite, passionate, abstract, clever, his works are like no one else's. Who is Tom Stoppard-the Czech-born son of Jews who became the singularly English man of letters? In this vibrant, critical portrait, Ira Nadel weaves life and works into a fascinating chronicle of Stoppard's world on English and American stages. Peopled with such characters as Diana Rigg, John Wood, and Billy Crudup, the book untangles Stoppard's genius against the backdrop of Broadway and London's West End.
Author Biography: Ira Nadel is a well-known critic and biographer. The author of the acclaimed Various Positions: A Life of Leonard Cohen, he is a commentator for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and teaches English at the University of British Columbia.
- Palgrave Macmillan
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- 6.48(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.70(d)
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Precisely who is the man who gave us such disturbing and erudite plays as 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern,' 'The Real Thing,' and most recently 'The Coast Of Utopia'? He is arguably the foremost dramatist of our time, but what makes Tom Stoppard tick? We'll not find the answers to these questions in a biography of the playwright by Ira Nadel, although that is not due to lack of research as there are almost 100 pages of references and indices included in this rather weighty tome. Perhaps the best one can do in assessing another human being is to hazard guesses based on observation. There are observations aplenty in this highly readable portrait of an enigmatic genius who, almost singlehandedly, has altered the face of 20th century drama. For Stoppard, born Tomas Straussler in 1937, it has been a far journey from his home in Czechoslovakia to Hollywood, Broadway, and London's West End. Readers take this journey with him, observing Stoddard's evolution into a playwright concerned with morals and politics, noting the ups and downs in his personal life, and seeing his connectedness to his past. Critic/biographer Nadel has done an exemplary job in documenting the life of a contradictory figure. Yet, the question lingers: precisely who is Tom Stoppard?