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Critical Companion to Eugene O'Neill [Hardcover]

Robert M. Dowling

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Book Description

August 1, 2009 0816066752 978-0816066759
Eugene O'Neill is widely considered the greatest American dramatist. Winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, O'Neill also received four Pulitzer Prizes over the course of his remarkable career.

Critical Companion to Eugene O'Neill explores the personal, historical, and artistic influences that combined to form such dark and influential American masterpieces as The Iceman Cometh, The Emperor Jones, Mourning Becomes Electra, Hughie, and arguably the finest tragedy ever written by an American Long Day's Journey into Night. Ideal for high school and college-level students, this new book covers all of O'Neill's works, as well as detailed entries on his life and related people, places, and topics.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Eugene O’Neill is the only American dramatist to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. He also won four Pulitzer Prizes throughout his career, one posthumously. Written by an O’Neill scholar for a broad audience, this work is meant “to reproduce the life and drama of the playwright in a sustained dialogue with nearly five generations of O’Neill critics, scholars, fellow dramatists, friends, and family members.” Following the structure of other titles in the publisher’s Critical Companion series, this one begins with a biography, followed by A–Z coverage of O’Neill’s works. Next comes a dictionary of “Related People, Places, and Topics.” Appendixes contain a chronology of O’Neill’s life and bibliographies of works by and about the writer. Entries on O’Neill’s works are detailed; nearly 30 pages are devoted to The Iceman Cometh, for example. Each entry contains some background on the writing of the play as well as a synopsis, commentary, character descriptions, and a bibliography for further reading. Cross-references often refer to the “Related People, Places, and Topics” section. Black-and-white photographs, many of them from stage productions, are scattered throughout the text. These volumes are wonderfully organized and very easy to use. They would be very appropriate for libraries catering to a high-school and undergraduate audience. Entries are of a length to provide a good background of O’Neill’s works and life. Also available as an e-book. --Jennifer Dawson

About the Author

Robert M. Dowling, Ph.D., is associate professor of English at Central Connecticut State University. He is the author of Slumming in New York: From the Waterfront to Mythic Harlem.

Product Details


More About the Author

ROBERT M. DOWLING is professor of English at Central Connecticut State University. He is the author of Slumming in New York: From the Waterfront to Mythic Harlem (2007) and author and editor of the two-volume Critical Companion to Eugene O'Neill: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work (2009). His latest projects include a folio for the online journal Drunken Boat, "Celtic Twilight: 21st-Century Irish Americans on Eugene O'Neill" (2010); an anthology, Eugene O'Neill and His Contemporaries: Bohemians, Radicals, Progressives, and the Avant Garde (2011), co-edited with Eileen Herrmann; and a compendium of O'Neill's opening night reviews, co-edited with Jackson R. Bryer, published by Cambridge University Press. His biography, Eugene O'Neill: A Life in Four Acts, is published by Yale University Press (2014). Dowling serves on the editorial board of The Eugene O'Neill Review and the board of directors of the Eugene O'Neill Society.

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