Two Trains Running
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Two Trains Running

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Description

August Wilson surged to the forefront of American playwrights with the success of such critically acclaimed plays as Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Joe Turner's Come and Gone, as well as his Pulitzer Prize winners Fences and The Piano Lesson. Now, with Two Trains Running, which Time magazine hailed as "his most mature work to date, " he offers another mesmerizing chapter in his remarkable cycle of plays about the black experience in twentieth-century America. It is Pittsburgh, 1969. The regulars of Memphis Lee's restaurant are struggling to cope with the turbulence of a world that is changing rapidly around them and fighting back when they can. As the play unfolds, Memphis's diner - and the rest of his block - is scheduled to be torn down, a casualty of the city's renovation project that is sweeping away the buildings of a community, but not its spirit. The rich undertaker across the street encourages Memphis to accept his offer to buy the place from him at a reduced price, but Memphis stands his ground, determined to make the city pay him what the property is worth, refusing to be swindled out of his land as he was years before in Mississippi. Into this fray come Sterling, the ex-con who embraces the tenets of Malcolm X; Wolf, the bookie who has learned to play by the white man's rules; Risa, a waitress of quiet dignity who has mutilated her legs to distance herself from men; and Holloway, the resident philosopher and fervent believer in the prophecies of a legendary 322-year-old woman down the street, a reminder of their struggle and heritage. And just as sure as an inexorable future looms right around the corner, these people of "loud voices and big hearts" continue to search, tofalter, to hope that they can catch the train that will make the difference. With compassion, humor, and a superb sense of place and time, Wilson paints a vivid portrait of everyday lives in the shadow of great events, and of unsung men and women who are anything but ordinary.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 110 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 10.16mm | 159g
  • New American Library
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0452269296
  • 9780452269293
  • 94,430

Review quote

Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Best Play Award "Vivid and uplifting... pure poetry... remarkable!"--Time

"A symphonic composition with a rich lode of humanity running through it."--Los Angeles Times

"His language is golden: rich in humor and poetry and redolent of a colorful vernacular."--Wall Street Journal

"Has an unassailable authenticity... a lot of life and a lot of humor... By the end, a small world has been utterly transformed."--Variety

"These characters are fully imagined--they live... reeling out stories about their past, their angers, their dreams."--Washington Post

"Wilson's most adventurous and honest attempt to reveal the intimate nature of history... glorious storytelling... touching and often funny... a penetrating revelation of a world hidden from view."--Frank Rich, The New York Times
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About August Wilson

August Wilson was a major American playwright whose work has been consistently acclaimed as among the finest of the American theater. His first play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for best new play of 1984-85. His second play, Fences, won numerous awards for best play of the year, 1987, including the Tony Award, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. Joe Turner's Come and Gone, his third play, was voted best play of 1987-1988 by the New York Drama Critics' Circle. In 1990, Wilson was awarded his second Pulitzer Prize for The Piano Lesson. He died in 2005.
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Rating details

649 ratings
3.99 out of 5 stars
5 31% (202)
4 42% (271)
3 24% (153)
2 3% (19)
1 1% (4)
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