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August Wilson

Biographical Links and Tributes

U.S. Newspapers from Lexis Nexis, Howard University Libraries

Recalling August Wilson. By Frank F. Conlon, professor emeritus of history, University of Washington. Boulder, Colo., Oct. 3, 2005. New York Times.
Wednesday, October 5, 2005. Late edition.

August Wilson, 1945-2005: "Pushing issues of race; playwright was committed to fighting for 'cultural ground'. " By Everett Evans. The Houston Chronicle. October 4, 2005.

Tribute to August Wilson: Acclaimed Playwright Ranked Among Greats. "A fallen giant of theater leaves an even larger legacy." By Michael Grossberg. The Columbus Dispatch. October 4, 2005.

August Wilson: Showing Us How We Got Here. By Teresa Heinz chairman of the Heinz Family Philanthropies and the Howard Heinz Endowment. P.G. Publishing Co. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Wednesday Oct.5. c. 2005.

Toils of August. The Pittsburgh Playwright Was a Gift to the Theater. Editorial - in Tribute
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Pennsylvania. c. 2005 P.G. Publishing Co. Oct.5, 2005

An Appreciation: August Wilson: Voice of Voiceless Will Echo in Theater Forever. By Kenny Leon.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  October 4, 2005.

Our Opinions: Wilson's Work an Artistic Landmark. Editorial.  August Wilson was a singular talent in modern American theater who stirred audiences with stories of people living on the margins of life while still finding ways to triumph over adversity. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. October 4, 2005.

August Wilson / 1945 - 2005. Mike Boehm. Playwright Distilled Black America;
'Magisterial' cycle of 10 works about ordinary lives in poor neighborhood earned him two Pulitzer Prizes.
Main News; Metro Desk; Part A; Pg. 1. Los Angeles Times. October 2, 2005.

Come and Gone. Editorial. The Baltimore Sun. October 4, 2005. 

August Wilson: Editorial. The Boston Globe. October 4, 2005

August Wilson, Theater's Poet Of Black America, Is Dead at 60   By Charles Isherwood, Section A; Column 2; The Arts/Cultural Desk; Pg. 1. The New York Times. October 3, 2005

An Appreciation: Writer is stilled, but not his song. Charles McNulty, Special to The Times
In his landmark plays, August Wilson captured the sorrows and joys of African Americans.
Calendar; Calendar Desk; Part E; Pg. 1

August Wilson gave a voice to the unsung.  Roderick Nordell. Cambridge, Mass.  The Christian Science Monitor c 2005.

Wilson was a Dramatist with a Touch of the Poet. By Howard Kissel. New York. Daily News. October 4, 2005.

International Newspapers from Lexis Nexis

Obituary: August Wilson. By Tom Vallance. UK. Independent Newspapers. Global News Wire - Europe Intelligence Wire. The Independent. c.  October 4, 2005

Obituary: August Wilson: Distinguished Black American Playwright who Reclaimed the Stories of his People..." By Margaret Busby. London. The Guardian. October 4, 2005.

August Wilson. Feature. "August Wilson, playwright, was born on April 27, 1945. He died on October 2, 2005, aged 60."  London. The London Times. October 4, 2005.

America's Finest Black Dramatist, Whose Plays Chronicled the Lives of Afro Americans Through the 20th Century. London. The Times.  October 4, 2005.

Obituary of August Wilson; Playwright with a Gift for Characterization who Examined Black Experience in the 20th Century. London. The Daily Telegraph. October 04, 2005.

Cycle of Plays Rounded out Life of US Playwright.  Feature. Queensland, Australia. The Courier Mail. October 4, 2005.

August Wilson, chronicler of African-Americans; Obituary. By Charles Isherwood. The International Herald Tribune. Source, The New York Times. October 4, 2005.

Literary Criticism

Elam, Harry Justin: The Dialectics of August Wilson's Piano Lesson  
Theatre Journal - Volume 52, Number 3, October 2000, pp. 361-379 - Article

Brustein-Wilson Debate: TDR: The Drama Review - Volume 47, Number 2 (T 178), Summer 2003, p. 25 - Article

Richards, Lloyd: Lloyd Richards: Reflections from the Playwrights' Champion: An Interview
TDR: The Drama Review - Volume 47, Number 2 (T 178), Summer 2003, pp. 9-33 - Article.
Richards, Sandra L. 1946- Yoruba Gods on the American Stage: August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone  
Research in African Literatures - Volume 30, Number 4, Winter 1999, pp. 92-105 - Article 

Clark, Keith: The Past as Present in the Drama of August Wilson (review)  
Modern Drama: world drama from 1850 to the present - Volume 48, Number 2, Summer 2005, pp. 448-452 - Review

Knadler, Stephen P. Black Manhood in James Baldwin, Ernest J. Gaines, and August Wilson, and: The Origins of African American Literature: A History of the African American Literary Presence, 1680-1865 (review)  
American Literature - Volume 75, Number 1, March 2003, pp. 201-203 - Review

Brown, Stephanie: Melodramas of Beset Black Manhood? Meditations on African-American Masculinity as Scholarly Topos and Social Menace: An Introduction  
Callaloo - Volume 26, Number 3, Summer 2003, pp. 732-737 - Article

Wilson, August: The Ground on Which I Stand
Callaloo - Volume 20, Number 3, Summer 1997, pp. 493-503 - Article

Wetmore, Kevin J. Contemporary Black Men's Fiction and Drama (review)  
Research in African Literatures - Volume 34, Number 2, Summer 2003, pp. 231-232 - Rev

Sell, Mike: [Ed.] Bullins as Editorial Performer: Textual Power and the Limits of Performance in the Black Arts Movement  
Theatre Journal - Volume 53, Number 3, October 2001, pp. 411-428 - Article

Brown, Stephanie:  Melodramas of Beset Black Manhood? Meditations on African-American Masculinity as Scholarly Topos and Social Menace: An Introduction  
Callaloo - Volume 26, Number 3, Summer 2003, pp. 732-737 - Article

Tal, Kali:  That Just Kills Me: Black Militant Near-Future Fiction  
Social Text - 71 (Volume 20, Number 2), Summer 2002, pp. 65-91 - Article

Literary Criticism: Founders Library

Ambush, Benny Sato. "Culture Wars." African American Review 31.4 (1997): 579- 587.

Andreach, Robert J. Creating the Self in the Contemporary American Theatre.  Southern Illinois University Press, 1998.
Bellamy, Lou. "The Colonization of Black Theatre." African American Review 31.4 (1997): 587-691.

Bissiri, Amadou. "Aspects of Africanness in August Wilson's drama: reading 'The Piano Lesson' through Wole Soyinka's Drama" African American Review  30.1 (1996): 99-114.

Boan, Devon. "Call-and-Response: Parallel "Slave Narrative" in August Wilson's 'The Piano Lesson'." African American Review  32.2 (1998): 263-272.

Demastes, William W. Realism and the American Dramatic Tradition. University of Alabama Press, 1996.
Digaetani, John L. A Search for a Postmodern Theater: Interviews with Contemporary Playwrights. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.

Hatch, James V.- and Bernard L. Peterson. Contemporary Black American Playwrights and Their Plays: A Biographical Directory and Dramatic Index. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988.
Heard, Elisabeth J. "August Wilson on Playwriting." African American Review  35.1 (2001): 93-102.

Keller, James R. " The Shaman's Apprentice: Ecstasy and Economy in Wilson's Joe Turner." African American Review 35.3 (2001): 471-480.

Maufort, Marc. Staging Difference: Cultural Pluralism in American Theatre and Drama. New York: Peter Lang, 1995.

McCord, Keryl E. "The Challenge of Change." African American Review 31.4 (1997): 601-610.

Plum, Jay. " Blues, History, and the Dramaturgy of August Wilson." African American Review 27.4 (1993): 561- 568.

Savran, David. In their own words: Contemporary American playwrights. New York: Theatre Communications Group,1988.

Shannon, Sandra Garrett. "A Transplant That did not Take: August Wilson's Views on the Great Migration." African American Review  31.4 (1997): 659- 666.

Shannon, Sandra Garrett. The dramatic vision of August Wilson. Washington, D.C: Howard University Press, 1995.

Usekes, Cigdem. "We's the Leftovers: Whiteness as Economic Power and Exploitation in August Wilson's Twentieth - Century Cycle of Plays." African American Review 37.1 (2003): 115- 125.

Literary Criticism: Founders Library: Reference

Bigeloio, Barbara Carlisle. Contemporary Black Biography. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1992 Founders Ref- E185.96.C66 v.7

Christian, Charles Melvin. Black saga: The African American Experience. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1995. Founders Ref- E185.C519

Columbus, Salley. The Black 100: A ranking of the most influential African-Americans, past and present. Secaucus, N.J.: Carol Pub. Group, 1993.  Founders Ref- E185.96.S225

Harley, Sharon. The Timetables of African-American History: A Chronology of the Most Important People and  Events in African-American History. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995. Founders Ref. E185.H295
Smith, Jessie Carney. Black Firsts: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Historical Events. Detroit: Visible Ink, 2003.  Founders Ref. E 185.B574

Smith, Jessie Carney. Notable Black American Men. Detroit : Gale Research, 1998. Founders Ref.  E 185.86.N68

Stewart, Jeffrey C. 1001 Things Everyone Should Know about African-American History. New York: Main Street  Books, 1998.  Founders Ref. E 185.S798


1984-85;  New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best play.

1986; Ma Rainey's Black Bottom; Outstanding Play Award from American Theatre Critics.

1986; Drama Desk Outstanding New Play Award.

1986; New York Drama Critics Circle, Best Play Award.

1986, Pulitzer Prize for drama.

1986;  Antoinette Perry Award for best play.

1986;  Best Broadway play,  Outer Critics Circle. 

1987;  Fences; John Gassner Award for best American Playwright from Outer Critics Circle.

1987; Artist of the Year, Chicago Tribune.

1987; Literary Lion Award from New York Public Library.

1988; New York Drama Critics Circle. Best Play Award. 

1988; Antoinette Perry Award nomination for best play.

1988;  Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Drama Desk Outstanding New Play Award.

1988;  New York Drama Critics Circle Best Play Award.

1988; Antoinette Perry Award for Best Play.

1988;  American Theatre Critics Outstanding Play Award.

1988;  Pulitzer Prize for drama.

1990; The Piano Lesson,  Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Award.

1991; Antoinette Perry Award nomination for best play.

1991; American Theatre Critics' Association Award.

1992; Two Trains Running,  Clarence Muse Award.

1992; Recipient of Bush and Guggenheim Foundation fellowships.

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