Edward Albee

Edward Albee (ăl´bē), 1928–2016, American playwright, one of the leading dramatists of his generation, b. Washington, D.C., as Edward Harvey. His most characteristic work constitutes an absurdist commentary on American life, often conveying psychologically probing observations concerning the American family. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1962, film 1966), a Tony Award–winner that is generally regarded as his finest play and has become a classic of modern American drama, presents an all-night drinking bout in which a middle-aged professor and his wife verbally lacerate each other in brilliant colloquial language. His major early plays include The Zoo Story (1959), The Death of Bessie Smith (1960), The Sandbox (1960), The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1963, adapted from the novel by Carson McCullers), and Tiny Alice (1965). Albee won the Pulitzer Prize for A Delicate Balance (1966), Seascape (1975), and Three Tall Women (1991). Other later plays include The Lady from Dubuque (1980), Marriage Play (1987), The Play about the Baby (1998), the Tony Award–winning family tragicomedy The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (2002), Occupant, a portrait of the artist Louise Nevelson (2002), and the semiautobiographical Me, Myself & I (2008).

See P. C. Kolin, Conversations with Edward Albee (1987); biography by M. Gussow (1999); studies by A. Paolucci (1972), R. E. Amacher (1982), and R. H. Solomon (2010).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Edward Albee: Selected full-text books and articles

Edward Albee: A Casebook By Bruce J. Mann Routledge, 2003
Edward Albee's Cage of Contempt By Smith, Kyle New Criterion, Vol. 35, No. 3, November 2016
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: A Memoir By Hornby, Richard The Hudson Review, Vol. 66, No. 1, Spring 2013
The Persistence of Edward Albee By Shewey, Don American Theatre, Vol. 9, No. 1, April 1992
CliffsNotes on Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? By James L. Roberts Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1979
Modern American Drama, 1945-2000 By C. W. E. Bigsby Cambridge University Press, 2004
Librarian's tip: Chap. 5 "Edward Albee: Journey to Apocalypse"
Won't You Come Home, Edward Albee? By Drukman, Steven American Theatre, Vol. 15, No. 10, December 1998
American Theater of the 1960s By Zoltán Szilassy Southern Illinois University Press, 1986
Librarian's tip: Chap. 1 "Edward Albee: First among Equals"
Family, Drama, and American Dreams By Tom Scanlan Greenwood Press, 1978
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Albee begins on p. 189
Culture Clash: The Making of Gay Sensibility By Michael Bronski South End Press, 1984
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Albee begins on p. 123
Albee and Me By Seldes, Marian American Theatre, Vol. 13, No. 7, September 1996
Writers and Philosophers: A Sourcebook of Philosophical Influences on Literature By Edmund J. Thomas; Eugene G. Miller Greenwood Press, 1990
Librarian's tip: "Edward Albee" begins on p. 4
Playwright Versus Director: Authorial Intentions and Performance Interpretations By Jeane Luere; Sidney Berger Greenwood Press, 1994
Librarian's tip: Chap. 6 "Danny Mann, Director, and Edward Albee, Playwright;" Chap. 13 "A Playwright-Director Opens Up a Classic: Albee's Direction of Beckett"
Strategies of Drama: The Experience of Form By Oscar Lee Brownstein Greenwood Press, 1991
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Albee's "Zoo Story" begins p. 25
Edward Albee By Farr, Richard The Progressive, Vol. 60, No. 8, August 1996
Contemporary Gay American Poets and Playwrights: An A-to-Z Guide By Emmanuel S. Nelson Greenwood Press, 2003
Librarian's tip: "Edward Albee (1928-)" begins on p. 1
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