From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fences comes Joe Turner's Come and Gone—Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play.
“The glow accompanying August Wilson’s place in contemporary American theater is fixed.”—Toni Morrison
When Harold Loomis arrives at a black Pittsburgh boardinghouse after seven years' impressed labor on Joe Turner's chain gang, he is a free man—in body. But the scars of his enslavement and a sense of inescapable alienation oppress his spirit still, and the seemingly hospitable rooming house seethes with tension and distrust in the presence of this tormented stranger. Loomis is looking for the wife he left behind, believing that she can help him reclaim his old identity. But through his encounters with the other residents he begins to realize that what he really seeks is his rightful place in a new world—and it will take more than the skill of the local “People Finder” to discover it.
This jazz-influenced drama is a moving narrative of African-American experience in the 20th century.
About the Author
August Wilson was a major American playwright whose work has been consistently acclaimed as among the finest of the American theater. His first play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for best new play of 1984-85. His second play, Fences, won numerous awards for best play of the year, 1987, including the Tony Award, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. Joe Turner's Come and Gone, his third play, was voted best play of 1987-1988 by the New York Drama Critics' Circle. In 1990, Wilson was awarded his second Pulitzer Prize for The Piano Lesson. He died in 2005.
"As rich in religious feeling as in historical detail, Joe Turner is at once a teeming canvas of black America and a spiritual allegory with a Melville whammy . . . Joe Turner is flecked with hypnotic storytelling soliloquies as grittily redolent of itinerant America as those in The Iceman Cometh."—Frank Rich, The New York Times
"Has the haunting power of a ghost story . . . bold theatricality . . . electrifying."—The Washington Post
"August Wilson's best play!"—William A. Henry III, Time magazine
"Joe Turner's Come and Gone is one of the best American plays of the decade . . . he takes us through joy and disaster, hatred and love; he pulls few punches and in the end he has contributed not only to the stature of American playwrighting but to our understanding of our society. A rich, rewarding play, that rare work what entertains while it teaches."—The Providence Journal