"Herald Loomis, you shining! You shining like new money!" - Bynum Walker
August Wilson considered Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (1984) to be his favourite play of the ten in his award-winning Pittsburgh Cycle. It is a drama that truly examines the roots, crossroads, and intersections of African, American, and African American culture. Its characters and choral griots interweave the intricate tropes of migration from the south to the north, the effects of slavery, black feminism and masculinity, and Wilson's theme of finding one's "song" or identity. This book gives readers an overview of the work from its inception on through its revisions and stagings in regional theatres and on Broadway, exploring its use of African American vernacular genres—blues music, folk songs, folk tales, and dance—and nineteenth-century southern post-Reconstruction history.
Ladrica Menson-Furr presents Joe Turner's Come and Gone as a historical drama, a blues drama, an American drama, a Great Migration drama, and the finest example of Wilson's gift for relocating the African American experience in urban southern cities at the beginning and not the end of the African American experience.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone from Memphis, Tennessee to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania; Chapter One: August Wilson—The African American Shakespeare; Chapter Two: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Mr. Wilson’s "Signature Play" and Favorite Play; Chapter Three: Themes and the African American Vernacular Tradition; Chapter Four: Production History and Critical Reception; Chapter 5: Conclusion, August Wilson’s Ode to South
Ladrica Menson-Furr is Director of African and African American Studies and Associate Professor of African American Literature at the University of Memphis. She is the author of August Wilson’s Fences (2008) and several articles on the works of August Wilson, Zora Neal Hurston, and Pearl Cleage.