Waiting: Selected Nonfiction

Waiting: Selected Nonfiction

by Elizabeth Swados
     
 

Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. In WAITING, Elizabeth Swados brings her lively autobiographical pieces—many ofwhich first ran in The New York Times and O, The Oprah Magazine—together forthe first time. Among those appearing in the book are Sean Penn, Meryl Streep, Yehuda Amichai, Ellen Stewart, and Marlon Brando, as well as moving

Overview


Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. In WAITING, Elizabeth Swados brings her lively autobiographical pieces—many ofwhich first ran in The New York Times and O, The Oprah Magazine—together forthe first time. Among those appearing in the book are Sean Penn, Meryl Streep, Yehuda Amichai, Ellen Stewart, and Marlon Brando, as well as moving accounts of Swados's schizophrenic brother, her work with young actors from New York to Abu Dhabi, and her explorations of the creative process—all told with grace and humor.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Having written reassuringly about mental illness (My Depression: A Picture Book), Swados's latest collection of published and unpublished nonfiction pieces seems intended only to make herself feel good. The novelist, composer, poet, theater director, and five-time Tony nominee admits as much in prepublication materials, stating that she is "celebrating different parts of my life and the many people who have been a part of it." Indeed, Swados writes about the late Ellen Stewart, her mentor, and founder of New York City's La Mama Experimental Theatre, young actors she's directed in theatrical productions, awkward encounters with Marlon Brando and Sean Penn, and African travels with innovative director Peter Brook. The book's strongest pieces are the few in which Swados focuses on others, such as "The Story of a Street Person," a moving portrait of her schizophrenic older brother, who lost his right arm and leg after hurling himself in front of a subway train and later died alone in a barricaded storefront apartment. Elsewhere, Swados jokes about being bipolar, which "might suggest that I'm into saving the environment," while the title essay offers a profound, yet whimsical meditation on the trials and tribulations of waiting. More such essays would have been welcome. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Swados, a five-time Tony nominee, novelist, poet, and children's book author, collects 18 new and previously published magazine articles and book chapters concerning her creative process as a composer for and director of an adolescent theater group. She calls her writing a process and experience in which she is loving people "on the page" and then reflecting on her observations. Sections titled "Persons of Interest" cover her interactions with Marlon Brandon, Sean Penn, and Meryl Streep. Essays on the more personal side explore her feelings about her brother who attempted suicide by jumping in front of a train. This slim collection shows how far-reaching the human experience can be. A good choice, especially for literary nonfiction collections.—J.S.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781934909218
Publisher:
Hanging Loose Press
Publication date:
05/31/2011
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author


Elizabeth Swados has published fiction, nonfiction, and children's books and received the Ken Award, as well as a New York Public Library Award for her book My Depression. Other awards include five Tony nominations, three Obie Awards, a Helen Hayes Award, and many others. THE ONE AND ONLY HUMAN GALAXY ((Hanging Loose Press, 2009) is her first collection of poetry. Her newest book is WAITING: SELECTED NONFICTION (Hanging Loose Press, 2011).

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