A Reader's Guide to Unfamiliar Literature
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A Good Place To Start

The Sandbox 2
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 1

A Bad Place To Start

The Sandbox 2


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Categorization is odious. There is tremendous overlap among genres. These pigeonholes are offered only as a convenience.

Edward Albee (1928 - )

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Please consider recommending where to begin reading this author, or where not to. A few words about your experiences reading this author and why you make the recommendations you do will be helpful to other users. If you are the author or have studied this author extensively, please say so.

Marian October 8th, 2006 03:22 PM PST

Albee admits -- even boasts! -- that he writes his plays in a single frenzied outburst of creativity and then DOES NOT REWRITE. So what you get is the inspired first draft. When it works, you get an astonishing experience like ZOO STORY or WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF. When it doesn't ...

Albee is all about the stage, so seeing is better than reading. Seeing on stage is better than seeing on film -- though there are excellent filmed versions of at least three of the plays.

However, if you are setting out to read the plays, I recommend THE AMERICAN DREAM, followed by A DELICATE BALANCE. Both brilliant, though in such totally different styles your head will spin.


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Culled from various on-line bios:

Born on March 12, 1928, in Washington, D.C … adopted as an infant by Reed Albee, the son of Edward Franklin Albee, a powerful American Vaudeville producer. Brought up in affluence, he chose instead to associate with artists and intellectuals.

At the age of twenty, Albee moved to New York's Greenwich Village where he held a variety of odd jobs including office boy, record salesman, and messenger for Western Union before finally hitting it big with his 1959 play, The Zoo Story. Despite fallow periods, he has a long list of critical hits and impressive awards.

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