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Fences Paperback – June 1, 1986

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 101 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reissue edition (June 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452264014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452264014
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

August Wilson is 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 also voted best play of 1987-88 by the New York Drama Critics' Circle. In 1990, Wilson was awarded his second Pulitzer Prize for The Piano Lesson.

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Customer Reviews

A little worn at the edges, but all in all a good book.
Julie Dasch-Ellis
I especially liked the relationship between Troy and his son Cory, because it very realistic to the way children were raised in that day and age.
duz cope
Fences, a play written by August Wilson was exceptionally well written.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Fences, by August Wlison, is a play that potrays the many roles of an African-American family that lives during a difficult period of time when Africans were being segagrated. In the play, Rose Maxosn, a house wife in her early-fortys, has a difficult time handling her family. She always finds herself battling between the decisions that her husband, Troy Maxson, makes and with what she thinks is right. Throughout the play, life for Rose was a graet challenge, but even though the pain was great, she always holds her head up high and waits for better days. This play teaches us that being able to forgive and go on with your life potrays a lot of who you really are inside. When this script was placed in my hands, my head ached to the thought of having to read another boring book. To my surprise, when it was read out loud with great feeling, my heart jumped with excitment and joy. After I had gotten a sense of the characters feelings and language, I was unable to put it down. This book reached out to me like no other book has ever done before. The way that Rose was able to forgive so many inappropiate acts is very astonishing to me. I franckly admire Rose for being able to be a strong women and for sticking to what she says. I wish that everyone that reads this script is able to take a bit of sweetness from Rose.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Summer B. on March 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Fences," by August Wilson, is a wonderful mix of drama and comedy that emphasizes the tribulations and confusions people were going through, during the changing sixties. In this two-act play, Troy Maxson is a middle-aged African American who is struggling to raise a son, keep a family together and deal with the new desires and needs everybody is beginning to feel as social standards slowly begin to change. As a child growing up, Troy did not have a great father figure, and he was not able to persue his dream of becoming a great baseball player as he grew older, because of racial limitations of the time period. Now as things begin to change for the better, he is still afraid of these limitations and overcoming them. His son wants to play football, but Troy doesn't want him to. He wants him to get a job and become good with his hands. As he refuses to let his son play, he pushes him away. He begins to push his wife away too, because he feels he needs his own space and has new desires. This play becomes a struggle for Troy to try to pass on morals he thinks are right and to be a proud man in a time where hatred is strong and boundaries are being broken. Troy Maxson is having to change his ways according to change and he grew up doing what he could to survive, so changing after so many years of living a certain way to survive is harder than anything he has had to deal with before. Will he come out of it successful?
A wonderful blend of characters, hysterical, beautiful, bold, courageous and passionate; this play is sure to win your favor.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Nenstiel TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
From the opening scene we as audience members are dropped whole into the world of the characters in August Wilson's classic play. The dialect of the characters, the hints of jargon, and the references that aren't explained but simply ARE allow us to be immersed in his setting. This back porch, with its visible foibles (exposed icebox, half-built fence) make Troy Maxson, his family, and his friends into new beings that become larger than their own lives--and very like our own lives.
There is nothing in this play we don't all have to face from day to day. Work, marriage, family disputes, mental illness, adultery, violence, and more events populate this play as surely as the characters do. Yet the clear, Sophoclean way they are addressed makes them matter to us in an immediate, powerful way.
The play is broken up into two acts, comprising eleven scenes. The first ten take place over a span of a few months, while the final provides an epilogue some years later. Some modern theatre purists will balk at this many divisions, and yet the way Wilson makes them pop will let an audience that loves theatre to both enjoy and understand what's happening to the characters.
This is a difficult piece of theatrical literature, yet one of the most important and compelling of the last twenty years. For all its faluts (slipshod editing, internal contradictions, great length) it remains a valuable play, and one that hasn't received nearly the acclaim it deserves.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "dramaly" on November 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
"Every right implies a responsibility, every opportunity, an obligation, every possession, a duty." This is how one man by the name of John D. Rockefeller Jr. interprets the term "Responsibility". It is the quality by which one is dependable. The way one chooses to deal with the course of their actions. Different people handle their responsibilities in different manors. Some voluntarily fulfill their duties, others find it a hassle they feel obligated to deal with.
"Fences," by August Wilson, is set in the mid-1960's. The storyline deals with a man and his family as they go through the struggles and conflicts of life.
Troy Maxson, the leading character in the play, is a good example of one who finds his responsibilities to be obligations. Troy is a fifty-three you old, black man who makes his meager living as a garbage man. He and his wife have two children. Troy looks at fatherhood as his duty. He brings home a paycheck, he puts food on the table, and he puts clothes on his childens' backs. He rarely shows any of the affection that one might hope he holds for his children. Perhaps this is because his father never showed him any love.
In Act I Scene I, we see Lyons, Troy's son from a previous marriage, come by to ask ten dollars of his father. His father reluctantly hands him the money after a drawn-out argument over Lyon's jobless lifestyle. Lyons and Troy have two very different views on life. Troy feels that his son, a man of thirty-four years, should be responsible for supporting himself with a steady job. Lyons disagrees, claiming he knows he has to eat, but he has to live too. He feels it is more his responsibility to enjoy life than to worry about where his next meal is coming from.
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