Critical Insights: A Raisin in the Sun

Salem Pr. Jan. 2023. 283p. ed. by Peter J. Bailey. ISBN 9781637004289. $105. REF
Bailey (emeritus, English, St. Lawrence Univ.; Critical Insights: J.D. Salinger) begins this book with a biographical sketch of playwright Lorraine Hansberry, who was 28 in 1959 when A Raisin in the Sun premiered on Broadway. She was the first Black woman to have a play produced on Broadway and was soon the first and youngest to win a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play. This resource contains 15 essays by eight scholars about the critical contexts of the play and its theatrical legacy. Included as well are surveys of the original Broadway production and the three film adaptations. The book supplies much biographical detail about Hansberry, who was a lesbian, a Communist, and a civil rights activist.
VERDICT While similar guides to A Raisin in the Sun were published in 1998 and 2001, this carefully considered resource is a great one to have on hand.
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