Quills and Other Plays

Doug Wright

Faber & Faber



Trade Paperback

288 Pages



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Throughout his work, Doug Wright has often combined the personal, the social, and the political, in the process unearthing fundamental truths about life and art while casting an unblinking eye on the dark side of human nature. Gathered here are three of Wright's early plays, including Interrogating the Nude, a tongue-in-cheek reimagining of the uproar surrounding the debut of Marcel Duchamp's work in America; Watbanaland, a satiric dissection of yuppie desire and a haunting look at family and faith; and the Obie Award-winning Quills, which explores the boundaries of artistic expression and the dangers of censorship as they played out in the Marquis de Sade's final days at Charenton Asylum.


Praise for Quills and Other Plays

"A brilliant, scathing indictment against any person or ideology who would curtail or bend freedom of expression, as well as an indictment against anyone putting a lid on primal instincts . . . Wright not only manages to set up a clearheaded debate about the rights and responsibilities of the artist, but simultaneously shows how easy it is for the 'liberators' to become the torturers."—Ed Siegel, The Boston Globe, on Quills
"Cunningly structured and gorgeously written, with every phrase turned to a high gleaming polish . . . Superb."—Michael Feingold, The Village Voice, on Quills

Table of Contents
Introduction: Willful Misbehavior
Interrogating the Nude

Reviews from Goodreads



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Quills and Other Plays
Interrogating the NudeAUTHOR'S NOTEIN 1913 Americans caught their first glimpse of modern European art at the Armory Show in New York City. Picasso, Braque, and Brancusi were all represented in the exhibition. The unqualified "hit" of the show, however, was a painting by a little-known French artist named Marcel Duchamp. Its title was Nude Descending a Staircase, and it showed a cubist nude set in motion down a series of steps. Reaction to the painting ranged from ridicule to outright hostility. The public had never before seen the most sacred of art's subjects--the human
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  • Doug Wright

  • Doug Wright is the author of I Am My Own Wife, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.