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August Wilson was born Fredrick August Kittle on April 27, 1945. His parents were Frederick Kittel, a German immigrant, and Daisy Wilson, an African woman woman. The playwright never saw much of his father growing up. He was mostly raised by his mother, in an apartment with no hot water, at Pittsburgh's Hill District, a largely black neighborhood. When he was 20, August Kittle formally became August Wilson. He ditched his absent father's name altogether, aligning himself with his mother, her......Read More
George Lucas wasn't the first one to start a franchise in the middle of things--or at medias res, if you want to get all fancy about it. Star Wars was so popular that Lucas just had to go back and give us the prequel for the original 3 films. Some critics think Shakespeare did the identical thing: he wrote Henry VI, Parts two and 3 first, and after they were such crowd pleasers, he moved back and did a Part 1. Nowadays, we group Henry VI, Part 3 with other history plays known as the "first......Read More
Let us face it: there's a whole lot about this crazy merry-go-round that we call life which may give us the impression that we've taken a couple too many mad pills. So here is the real question: what do you do about that atmosphere? Well, if you're Joseph Heller, you compose Catch-22, one of the most influential books of all time and a powerful indictment of humankind's most mad practice: warfare. The book--Heller's most famous by far--was printed in 1961, at a time when America was between 2......Read More
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