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Understanding David Mamet, updated edition

With a New Preface

updated edition

Brenda Murphy

Published: Feb 2 2023






OA Ebook



The inclusion of this book in the Open Carolina collection is made possible by the generous funding of

A new preface covers Mamet's most recent plays and nonfiction writing

Understanding David Mamet analyzes the broad range of his plays and places them in the context of his career as a prolific writer of fiction and nonfiction prose, as well as drama. In addition to playwriting and directing for the theater, Mamet also writes, directs, and produces for film and television, and he writes essays, fiction, poetry, and even children's books. Author Brenda Murphy centers her discussion around Mamet's most significant plays—Glengarry Glen Ross, Oleanna, American Buffalo, Speed-the-Plow, The Cryptogram, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Edmond, The Woods, Lakeboat, Boston Marriage, and The Duck Variations—as well as his three novels—The Village, The Old Religion, and Wilson. Murphy also notes how Mamet's one-act and less known plays provide important context for the major plays and help to give a fuller sense of the scope of his art. In her new preface, Murphy provides an overview of Mamet's plays, fiction, and essays in the 2010s and the continued move to the right in his political and cultural thinking.

Brenda Murphy is the Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Connecticut. She received her Ph.D. from Brown University and has published fifteen books, including The Provincetown Players and the Culture of Modernity, Tennessee Williams and Elia Kazan: A Collaboration in Theatre, and Twentieth-Century American Drama: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies.

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