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Labyrinth of Hybridities

Avatars of O’Neillian Realism in Multi-ethnic American Drama (1972-2003)


Marc Maufort

Taking its cue from Eugene O’Neill’s questioning of «faithful realism», voiced by Edmund Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey into Night, this book examines the distant legacy of the Irish American playwright in contemporary multiethnic drama in the U.S. It explores the labyrinth of formal devices through which African American, Latina/o, First Nations, and Asian American dramatists have unconsciously reinterpreted O’Neill’s questioning of mimesis. In their works, hybridizations of stage realism function as aesthetic celebrations of the spiritual potentialities of cultural in-betweenness. This volume provides detailed analyses of over forty plays authored by such key artists as August Wilson, Suzan-Lori Parks, José Rivera, Cherríe Moraga, Hanay Geiogamah, Diane Glancy, David Henry Hwang, and Chay Yew, to give only a few prominent examples. All in all, Labyrinth of Hybridities invites its readers to reassess the cross-cultural patterns characterizing the history of twentieth century American drama.