A closer look at the life and literary work of one of the more enigmatic dramatists of our time-- Wallace Shawn, author of idiosyncratic plays and films including the art-house hit My Dinner With Andre,
the off-Broadway Aunt Dan and Lemon,
and the recently-filmed London hit The Designated Mourner,
whose power was such that it drew director Mike Nichols back to the stage as an actor. Shawn manages to be that strange creature, an anti-intellectual intellectual, someone who could write an entire play consisting of a single protracted dinner conversation while showing his impatience at the idea of such a conversation. Things that most writers accept on faith--high aspirations, the need to help others, the desirability of education and reading--are very much on the table with Shawn. Maybe these aren't such good things, Shawn seems to say. I'll dramatize for you exactly where these things can lead, and then try to tell me they're still good. If you come to this book, bring an open mind.
From Library Journal
Many know Shawn's face from annual appearances on Murphy Brown, but theater and film aficionados know Shawn as the creator of some of the most thought-provoking works of the last two decades, particularly the plays Aunt Dan and Lemon and The Designated Mourner and the films My Dinner with Andre and Vanya on 42nd Street. In this incisive and absorbing study of a fascinating man and his work, King incorporates a perceptive and full analysis of each of Shawn's works with interviews with Shawn and those who know him and extraordinarily revealing telephone answering-machine tapes. The reader can see why King won the Joe D. Callaway Prize for the best book on theater for Henry Irving's "Waterloo" (Univ. of California, 1993), and one may be seized by the burning desire to rent My Dinner with Andre after reading this engaging work. Recommended for all large public and academic libraries, especially those with theater holdings.?Susan L. Peters, Emory Univ. Lib., Atlanta, Ga.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.