James Purdy by James Purdy
Selected Plays

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Synopsis

Hailed as a creative genius (TLS) and a singular American visionary (New York Times), James Purdy may be best known for his remarkable novels, but he is also an astonishing playwright who has written nine full-length and twenty short plays. Purdy is one of the few contemporary American writers capable of writing tragedy-Tennessee Williams called him a uniquely gifted man of the theater. This collection presents four riveting and beautifully crafted works: Brice, The Paradise Circus, Where Quentin Goes, and Ruthanna Elder. Each explores a range of emotional and familial tangles, as fathers betray their sons and squander their inheritances, siblings compete for parental affection, and husbands and wives try to salvage meaning from their broken marriages. The plays are written in Purdy's authentic idiom, which Paul Bowles called the closest [we have] to a classical American colloquial.
 

About James Purdy

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James Purdy, born in 1914, is undergoing a major literary renaissance. The author of Malcolm and now The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy, he lived in New York until his death in 2009.
 
Published June 16, 2009 by Ivan R. Dee. 304 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for James Purdy

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And, along with pointless tidbits of revenge and grand guignol (toddler shoots intruder, uses the dead man's blood for watercolor paint), there's a campy fable and a sliver of roman à clef gossip: ""On the Rebound,"" in which a literary salon-hostess attempts to recover her lost popularity by ki...

May 01 1987 | Read Full Review of James Purdy: Selected Plays

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Purdy's books are unpredictably strange: of late the only safe assumption is that some sort of melodrama will be involved.

Feb 01 1983 | Read Full Review of James Purdy: Selected Plays

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Dead Justin, in fact, seems to be pulling all the strings from above, ultimately enmeshing Duane in the spider-lady clutches of the aforementioned Estelle Dumont, a rich widow who was once in love with Justin.

Jun 30 1981 | Read Full Review of James Purdy: Selected Plays

The New York Times

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Some writers do not gain wide acceptance because their work is genuinely disturbing. Purdy is one of them.

Feb 27 2005 | Read Full Review of James Purdy: Selected Plays

The New York Times

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Some writers do not gain wide acceptance because their work is genuinely disturbing. Purdy is one of them.

Feb 27 2005 | Read Full Review of James Purdy: Selected Plays

The New York Times

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Some writers do not gain wide acceptance because their work is genuinely disturbing. Purdy is one of them.

Feb 27 2005 | Read Full Review of James Purdy: Selected Plays

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