February 20, 2018  

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Kolin Publishes Book on Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks

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Dr. Philip Kolin

Dr. Philip C. Kolin, Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts and Letters at The University of Southern Mississippi, has published a new book entitled “Suzan-Lori Parks: Essays on the Plays and Other Works” with McFarland Publishing.

The first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for drama (for Topdog/Underdog), Parks has transformed the American theatre with her mythic plays about the loss of black history and identity. Her haunting characters inhabit nightmarish settings and use a new stage language based on the poetry of spoken black English.

Celebrated theatre scholar and editor Sandra Shannon of Howard University declared that Kolin’s book “is certain to enrich and expand future research, teaching and critical writing and performance” of Parks’ works.

Kolin’s edited collection of 12 original essays by scholars in this country and abroad addresses Parks’ provocative and influential plays, her screenplays (e.g. Girl 6 she did with Spike Lee), her musical (Ray Charles Live!), and her novel (Getting Mother’s Body). 

Kolin contributed two essays to the volume, one entitled “Puck’s Magic Mojo: The Achievements of Suzan-Lori Parks” and another on “Dis(re)membering in Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom,” the harrowing place where African Americans find themselves dislocated after their journey through the Middle Passage of slavery.

The collection concludes with two original interviews, one with Parks and another with her long-time director, Liz Diamond from Yale University.

An expert on the plays of Tennessee Williams and editor of the highly respected Routledge series on Shakespeare’s plays and poems, Kolin has also written extensively on other contemporary African American women playwrights such as Adrienne Kennedy and Ntozake Shange.

“Suzan-Lori Parks: Essays on the Plays and Other Works” is available on Amazon and at www.mcfarlandpub.com.