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Understanding Lynn Nottage

Jennifer L. Hayes

Published: Jan 9 2025


Published: Jan 9 2025


Published: Jan 9 2025

OA Ebook
Published: Jan 9 2025


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

The first comprehensive study of the two-time Pulitzer-winning playwright

Lynn Nottage is one of the leading innovators in American theater today. In settings ranging from seventeenth-century France (Las Meninas) to twenty-first century conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ruined) and at a Pennsylvania factory (Sweat), she creatively foregrounds explorations of race, gender, and class.

In Understanding Lynn Nottage, Jennifer L. Hayes presents an accessible overview of Nottage's body of work to date, connecting her to other Black female playwrights and situating her in the African American literary tradition. In this character-driven study, Hayes examines how the playwright's dynamic narratives bring together diverse perspectives to address historical and contemporary issues. Hayes argues that Nottage privileges Black women's voices within vital discourse about topics such as migration, domestic terrorism, and historical erasure.

This book lays essential groundwork for future study of Nottage, who will continue to be a central dramatic voice for years to come, examining social problems through complex portraits of communities struggling to balance their values with shifting societal norms.

Jennifer L. Hayes is associate professor of literature at Tennessee State University. She is the author of Teaching African American Literature through Experiential Praxis: African American Writers in Europe.

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