Susan Glaspell

Susan Glaspell : Her Life and Times

3.33 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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Trifles - a play exploring what happens when women unite against forces that deny them a voice and identity-has become an international classic, as powerful and relevant today as it was in the summer of 1916, when it was first staged by vacationing friends in a converted fishing wharf in Provincetown,Massachusetts. This biography is the story of its author, Susan Glaspell, and the forces that propelled her from her Midwest birthplace in Davenport, Iowa to Greenwich Village during its glory days, where she established herself as a central figure in the avant-garde community and became the first modern American woman playwright. Glaspell's life is a feminist tale of pioneering in which she broke new ground for women. A journalist by age eighteen, she worked her way through university as a news reporter and became a leading novelist of the period. A co-founder of many of Greenwich Village's important avant-garde institutions, she was a close friend of its leading figures, including Eugene O'Neill.
She and O'Neill were equally credited with launching a new type of indigenous drama, hers addressing such pressing topics as suffrage, birth control, female sexuality, marriage equality, socialism, and pacifism. In 1931 she won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. "Out there - lies all that's not been touched - lies life that waits," Claire Archer says in The Verge, Glaspell's most experimental play. This biography is the exciting and inspiring story of Glaspell's personal exploration of the same terrain
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Product details

  • Paperback | 492 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 30mm | 780.17g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0195313232
  • 9780195313239
  • 2,168,471

Table of contents

Acknowledgements ; Preface: A Pioneering Life ; Introduction: Blackhawk's Land ; PART I: MIDWEST BEGINNINGS (1876-1907) ; 1. A Town Springs Up ; 2. Families In Fact and Fiction ; 3. Society Girls ; 4. Delphic Days ; 5. "Murder, She Wrote": The Genesis of Trifles ; 6. Chicago ; PART II: SUSAN AND JIG (1907-1913) ; 7. A Greek Out of Time ; 8. The Monist Society ; 9. Letters to Mollie ; 10. Travel at Home and Abroad ; 11. Though Stone Be Broken ; 12. Staging Area for the Future ; Interlude 1: Greenwich Village 1913, "The Joyous Season" ; PART III: THE PROVINCETOWN PLAYERS (1914-1922) ; 13. A Home by the Sea ; 14. War and Peace ; 15. A Theatre on a Wharf ; 16. Summer 1916, Two Playwrights ; 17. A New Kind of Theatre ; 18. "Fire from Heaven" on MacDougal Street ; 19. Here Pegasus was Hitched ; 20. Inheritors ; 21. The Verge and Beyond ; 22. The End of the Dream ; Interlude 2: Delphi 1922-1924, "The Road to the Temple" ; PART IV: GOING ON (1924-1948) ; 23. Picking Up the Pieces ; 24. Novel Times ; 25. Alison's House ; 26. Break Up ; 27. The Federal Theatre Project ; 28. A Different War ; 29. Completing the Circle ; Bibliography ; Notes
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Review quote

"A much welcome and most necessary biography. We don't know nearly enough about the pioneering writer Susan Glaspell; her story seems to have been passed over. Linda Ben Zvi's engaging and informative work restores this fine writer to her rightful place at the center of the American stage and makes us Glaspell's eager and avid audience."-Suzan-Lori Parks, Winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama "If Susan Glaspell has said it for women, Linda Ben-Zvi has said it for Glaspell. What she has said, through a virtual travelogue of fastidious research, impelled by the persistence of unaccountable neglect, is a kind of poetic justice."-Herbert Blau, University of Washington "Once ranked with Shaw and O'Neill, winner of the 1931 Pulitzer Prize, the prolific and pioneering American playwright and novelist Susan Glaspell has disappeared from standard literary history. Linda Ben-Zvi's fascinating critical biography of Glaspell restores an important American writer to twentieth-century cultural history. Move over, Millay!"-Elaine Showalter, Princeton University "In this welcome addition to the burgeoning body of Glaspell scholarship, author Linda Ben-Zvi makes a persuasive case for Glaspell's significance to American cultural and social history as well as the timeliness of her works for contemporary readers and audiences. Susan Glaspell: Her Life and Times provides a thoroughly researched, richly detailed, and eminently readable analysis of Glaspell's professional rise from 'society girl' reporting in her native
Iowa to Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of international fame.... In addition to scrupulous literary detection and astute critical insight, readers will appreciate Ben-Zvi's lucid, engaging, jargon-free prose. Susan Glaspell: Her Life and Times is highly recommended for anyone interested in Glaspell, women's
biography, American theatre and drama, or the fascinating era in which Glaspell lived and worked."-Theatre Journal "Susan Glaspell: Her Life and Times both complements the burgeoning field of Glaspell studies and provides nuanced and fresh readings of Glaspell's oeuvre.... Ben-Zvi provides new and distinct perspectives on the individuals and events connected with the legendary company (Provincetown Players).... Ben-Zvi's deep engagement with Glaspell's texts, career, friendships, loves, and beliefs complements her portrait of a woman experiencing some of the most
eventful periods of recent U.S. history." "Ben-Zvi...animates her scholarly sources to create a fully rounded narrative, carefully reconstructing the life and times of a complex woman who often guarded her privacy.... If ever a thick, scholarly book could be recommended as a Provincetown summer read, a book you can even take to the beach, this one is it."-Provincetown Banner "An important scholarly biography."-Library Journal
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About Linda Ben-Zvi

Linda Ben-Zvi is Professor of Theatre Studies at Tel Aviv University and Professor Emerita of English and Theatre at Colorado State University.
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Rating details

6 ratings
3.33 out of 5 stars
5 17% (1)
4 33% (2)
3 33% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 17% (1)
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