Contemporary Gay American Poets and Playwrights: An A-to-Z Guide

By Emmanuel S. Nelson | Go to book overview

EDWARD ALBEE (1928–)

Thomas Dukes


BIOGRAPHY

Edward Franklin Albee III was born to Louise Harvey and an unknown father on March 12, 1928; he was placed for adoption less than two weeks after birth. A few days later, the baby was given to Reed A. Albee and Frances C. Albee, “a childless couple living in New York” (Gussow 22), who formally adopted him less than a year later. Although Albee seems to have known by age six that he was adopted, only after his mother’s death did he find his adoption papers and discover “that his birth name was Edward Harvey. His name was always Edward, the one continuing link to his otherwise unknown past” (Gussow 22). The Albees were old American stock who had most recently made their money in show business, but Albee today “thinks of the Albee family and the family history as something completely separate from himself” (Gussow 24). Although Albee as a child would live a very privileged life, he had a very troubled relationship with his parents, so much so that any material benefit he might have derived was negated by that relationship. That difficulty and the fact of his adoption would have great influence on the character and direction of his life.

Albee was very fond of his grandmother and his father’s sister, although the latter was alcoholic, but less than close to his father. Having been well-off from birth, Reed was a man with little motivation to do much except practice adultery. By far the more charismatic person in the marriage was Albee’s mother Frances, known as “Frankie.” Very tall and stylish, she dominated the marriage, the household, and her son’s life, although she was often absent from it.

Somewhat sickly as a child, Albee early showed a penchant for art and music and began writing poems at an early age. He as well had a sharp eye for material that could later be used in his plays: For example, his memories of his childhood

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Contemporary Gay American Poets and Playwrights: An A-to-Z Guide
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • Edward Albee (1928–) 1
  • Jeff Baron (1952–) 11
  • Jeffery Beam (1953–) 19
  • David Bergman (1950–) 25
  • Alan Bowne (1945–1989) 29
  • Donald Britton (1951–1994) 38
  • James Broughton (1913–1999) 43
  • Bibliography 50
  • Victor Bumbalo (1946–) 54
  • Charles Busch (1954–) 61
  • Leo F. Cabranes-Grant (1960–) 69
  • Robert Chesley (1943–1990) 74
  • Justin Chin (1969–) 82
  • Alfred Corn (1943–) 87
  • Mart Crowley (1935–) 93
  • Melvin Dixon (1950–1992) 101
  • Bibliography 106
  • Tim Dlugos (1950–1990) 108
  • Bibliography 116
  • Mark Doty (1953–) 117
  • Bibliography 123
  • David Drake (1963–) 125
  • Robert Duncan (1919–1988) 130
  • Christopher Durang (1949–) 141
  • Edward Field (1924–) 147
  • Harvey Fierstein (1954–) 153
  • William Finn (1952–) 162
  • Kenny Fries (1960–) 171
  • Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997) 178
  • Thom Gunn (1929–) 188
  • Bibliography 196
  • Essex Hemphill (1957–1995) 198
  • William M. Hoffman (1939–) 205
  • Richard Howard (1929–) 212
  • Bibliography 215
  • Maurice Kenny (1929–) 217
  • Bibliography 220
  • Rudy Kikel (1943–) 222
  • Harry Kondoleon (1955–1994) 230
  • Bibliography 234
  • Larry Kramer (1935–) 236
  • Tony Kushner (1956–) 246
  • Michael Lassell (1947–) 260
  • Timothy Liu (1965–) 268
  • Craig Lucas (1951–) 272
  • Charles Ludlam (1943–1987) 280
  • J.D. Mcclatchy (1945–) 288
  • Bibliography 291
  • Terrence Mcnally (1939–) 293
  • Bibliography 307
  • Scott Mcpherson (1959–1992) 309
  • James Merrill (1926–1995) 316
  • Paul Monette (1945–1995) 323
  • Frank O’hara (1926–1966) 334
  • Bibliography 340
  • Robert O’hara (1970–) 342
  • Peter Parnell (1953–) 349
  • Carl Phillips (1959–) 357
  • Kenneth Pobo (1954–) 363
  • D.A. Powell (1963–) 369
  • Bibliography 376
  • Guillermo Reyes (1962–) 377
  • Bibliography 382
  • Assotto Saint (yves FranÇois Lubin) (1957–1994) 383
  • Bibliography 387
  • F. Allen Sawyer (1957–) 388
  • Bibliography 392
  • James Schuyler (1923–1991) 393
  • Reginald Shepherd (1963–) 398
  • Bibliography 405
  • Martin Sherman (1938–) 406
  • Aaron Shurin (1947–) 412
  • David Trinidad (1953–) 421
  • Gore Vidal (1925–) 427
  • Bibliography 435
  • Jonathan Williams (1929–) 438
  • Doric Wilson (1939–) 444
  • Lanford Wilson (1937–) 451
  • Chay Yew (1966–) 461
  • Selected Bibliography 467
  • Index 469
  • About the Contributors 477
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