Ed Bullins: Twelve Plays and Selected Writings brings together significant and provocative plays, fiction, essays, and letters of one of the most important playwrights in the U.S., African-American, and world dramatic traditions. Bullins was a crucial figure of the Black Arts Movement of the 60s and 70s that included writers Amiri Baraka, Larry Neal, Lorenzo Thomas, Sonia Sanchez, and others. He was playwright-in-residence at the historic New Lafayette Theatre in New York and co-editor of Black Theatre magazine. Bullins is recipient of three Obie awards, a New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and the Living Legend award from the National Black Theatre Festival in 1997. This collection displays his audacious experimentation with dramatic genre, his foundational and historic statements about African-American dramatic writing, and his role as political activist inside the theater world and out.
Focusing on the most significant period of his long and still lively career, the anthology includes his signature plays Clara’s Ole Man, In the Wine Time, and The Fabulous Miss Marie; the new, unpublished Harlem Diva; and fiction, essays, and letters, including his groundbreaking essays on black theater and a long excerpt from his controversial novel, The Reluctant Rapist. The volume is introduced and annotated by theater critic Mike Sell, providing invaluable critical and historical context to contemporary readers. Those familiar with Bullins’s work and those encountering it for the first time will find this an appealing collection.Bullins
Mike Sell is Associate Professor of English, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is author of Avant-Garde Performance and the Limits of Criticism: Approaching the Living Theatre, Happenings/ Fluxus, and the Black Arts Movement.
Ed Bullins, along with Amiri Baraka, is probably the most celebrated playwright to come out of the Black Arts Movement. Bullins radically revised avant-garde drama, while reaching out to a broad audience. His plays are suffused with trenchant, dire realism depicting the everyday struggles of African Americans with psychological depth that poeticizes their everyday speech.”
--Marlon Ross, University of Virginia