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Brian Friel and America

by Maria Szasz

Brian Friel and America is the first book-length study to explore Irish playwright Brian Friel through an American lens.  By examining Friel’s depiction of Irish-American immigrants, his stylistic and thematic similarities to American dramatists Thornton Wilder and Tennessee Williams, his American academic characters, his frequent use of American music, and his evocative portrayal of America as villain, Maria Szasz considers how Friel’s perspective towards America has changed during his over forty-year playwriting career.  The book concentrates on thirteen of Friel’s plays, Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1966), The Loves of Cass McGuire (1966), Lovers (1967), The Mundy Scheme (1969), The Freedom of the City (1973), Aristocrats (1979), Faith Healer (1979), Translations (1980), American Welcome (1980), Dancing at Lughnasa (1990), Wonderful Tennessee (1993), Molly Sweeney (1994) and Give Me Your Answer, Do! (1997).

The final aspect of Szasz’s American lens closely analyzes the U.S. reception of Friel’s plays. Szasz carefully debates the reasons behind Friel’s triumphs and failures on and Off Broadway. With a foreword by Professor Christopher Murray of University College Dublin, in essence, Brian Friel and America unravels the complexities of meaning America has had for Friel.

Maria Szasz teaches Theatre History in the University of New Mexico’s Honors College.  She has presented papers on Irish dramatists and musicals at the American Conference for Irish Studies-West, and is the compiler of Theatre and Drama in the American West: A Bibliography (1998).  She holds degrees in English and Theatre from The University of British Columbia, Emerson College and The University of New Mexico.

Book details:

Price:  €20.00 / STG £18.00 / $20.00

Size: 229x152mm

Binding: PB

ISBN-13: 978-1-9086890-5-4

Pages: 266

Release date: 7th January 2013

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