Eugene O'Neill: A Life In Four Acts

  • Publish Date: 2016-03-22
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Robert M. Dowling
  • $15.53
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A major new biography of the Nobel Prizewinning playwright whose brilliantly original plays revolutionized American theater

Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

This extraordinary new biography fully captures the intimacies of Eugene ONeills tumultuous life and the profound impact of his work on American drama. Robert M. Dowling innovatively recounts ONeills life in four acts, thus highlighting how the stories he told for the stage interweave with his actual life stories. Each episode also uncovers how ONeills work was utterly intertwined with, and galvanized by, the culture and history of his time.

Much is new in this extensively researched book: connections between ONeills plays and his political and philosophical worldview; insights into his Irish upbringing and lifelong torment over losing faith in God; his vital role in African American cultural history; unpublished photographs, including a unique offstage picture of him with his lover Louise Bryant; new evidence of ONeills desire to become a novelist and what this reveals about his unique dramatic voice; and a startling revelation about the release of Long Days Journey Into Night in defiance of his explicit instructions. This biography is also the first to discuss ONeills lost playExorcism(a single copy of which was only recently recovered), a dramatization of his own suicide attempt.

Written with lively informality yet a scholars strict accuracy, Eugene ONeill: A Life in Four Actsis a biography that Americas foremost playwright richly deserves.

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