Edward Albee Pulitzer-winning playwright dies at 88

Albee whose work earned him a reputation as one of the greatest American dramatists, died at his summer home in Montauk, New York.

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Edward Albee play

Edward Albee

(Instinct Magazine)
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Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee, whose provocative and often brutal look at American life in works such as “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’’ died on Friday at the age of 88.

Albee whose work earned him a reputation as one of the greatest American dramatists, died at his summer home in Montauk, New York.

He suffered a short illness to which he apparently succumbed, Albee’s Assistant, Jakob Holder, told Reuters.

Holder said the playwright was not alone at the time of his death, but declined to give any further details.

Albee once told the Paris Review that he decided at age 6 that he was a writer, but chose to work in the format of plays after concluding he was not a very good poet or novelist.

His works would eventually rank him alongside Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and Eugene O’Neill in American drama.

Albee described a playwright as “someone who lets his guts hang out on the stage,” and the innards of his own works included a powerful anger as he pushed themes such as alienation, resentment and the dark underside of life in the 1950s.

In the preface to his play “American Dream,” Albee described his approach as “an examination of the American Scene’’.

“A condemnation of complacency, cruelty, emasculation, and vacuity, a stand against the fiction that everything in this slipping land of ours is peachy-keen.”

The harsh humour and ferocity that prevailed in his more than 25 works long divided critics and audiences, earning Albee as much condemnation as praise.

Albee made his name, and shocked audiences, when his scathing drama “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” opened on Broadway in 1962.

 

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