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People Who Led to My Plays

People Who Led to My Plays

Adrienne Kennedy


"People Who Led to My Plays has served as a model for me in considering how one’s artistic practice is rooted and thrives in the soil of the past and how an artist uses history (with a small and a large “h”) as the raw material for one’s practice, molding and transforming and bringing it into the present. I thank you for your extraordinary work in unpacking black life on the stage and showing us how truly rich and strange it is." --Glenn Ligon

"I have been reading and teaching People Who Led to My Plays since its first publication in 1987. At once collage, diary, memoir and annotated scrapbook, it felt miraculous then and still does. With fearless imagination and formal daring, Adrienne Kennedy has given us A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman and an American literary classic." --Margo Jefferson

In this remarkable memoir, Adrienne Kennedy charts her life from growing up in Cleveland in the 1930s and 40s in a middle-class black family through marriage and motherhood and her eventual move to New York City in the 50s. Out of a sequence of deceptively spare statements emerges a complex portrait of the artist as a young woman as she examines the people and events that compelled her to be a writer.

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