I am intermittently reading plays, you know.
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry is/was
on my summer reading list . . . see Summer Reading Plan 2015.
And occasionally I color outside the lines and read something
NOT on the list!
I had read A Raisin in the Sun years ago, and seen the movie with
Sidney Poitier, but had forgotten it. It was good to read it again. It
won the 1959 New York Drama Critics Award and showed a black
family in Chicago and “what happens to people whose dreams are
constantly deferred.” Hansberry was considered an important new
voice in the theater at the time. Sadly, she died young at 34.
I enjoyed the play very much and will likely read it again some day.
August: Osage County by Tracy Letts was new to me. I had seen
clips of the movie version with Meryl Street and wanted to see the
movie but haven’t. I won’t now.
At first, even though a grim setting—family reunites for the father’s
funeral— there is dark humor where I laughed aloud. Soon, there
was nothing to laugh at. Alcoholism, addiction, meanness, old
jealousies crop up among the family of three daughters returning home.
You can’t put the book down, but don’t want to read it.
Tracy Letts won many, many awards for this play when it was published
in 2007. I understand the awards—how similar is it to O’Neill’s Long
Day’s Journey Into Night?–another dark drama which I won’t be
rereading . . . but I do understand the awards for his descent into the
raw emotions of a family–hard as it is to read. (hard as it must have
been to write)
What part I DO like is that Letts chose his title from a poem by
Howard Starks. And that in itself is worth reading, and worth a
a rewarding hunt on the internet.