From Library Journal
Compelled by the tragic events of September 11, Columbia Journalism School professor Nelson volunteered to write eulogies for a fire captain who lost eight men. When director Jim Simpson of off-Broadway's Flea Theatre learned about her efforts, he recognized the potential for an original play. With his encouragement, first-time playwright Nelson feverishly wrote this two-character, one-act work, showing great sensibility and compassion. Premiered at the Flea Theatre on December 4, 2001, the play has been a running success. In these finished eulogies, the fire captain's sketchy recollections of four of his men at work and at play were transformed into full portraitures. Through skillful dialogs and monologs, minimal props and setting, Nelson transcended time and space to create a moving, cathartic work. The book includes three pictures from the Flea Theatre production, a lengthy preface and afterword by the author, and a list of suggested readings. This timely literary work is highly recommended for all academic and public libraries.Ming-ming Shen Kuo, Ball State Univ. Lib., Muncie, IN
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From her experience helping a New York fire captain prepare eulogies for the men in his command who died on 9/11, Nelson distilled this two-person play. Premiered in December 2001 at a theater near the WTC and struggling to survive in the tragedy's wake, it consists of monologues by Jane, a journalist; dialogues between her and Nick, captain of a decimated company; and overlapping closing monologues as Jane speaks her heart and Nick, who has already spoken so much of his, reads the words Jane has fashioned for him. The time limitations of viable performance allow limning only a handful of firefighters, and Nelson makes the most of those strictures, presenting a veteran, a probie (a rookie on probationary appointment), and two men in mid-career. Drawing on her knowledge of Argentina and the American heartland, Nelson also has Jane voice some far-flung perspectives on 9/11. Deeply moving when read, the play may be overwhelming onstage and in the forthcoming film version. Nelson's preface, afterword, and further reading advice worthily fill out this book. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved