Book details

Lorraine Hansberry: The Life Behind A Raisin in the Sun

Author: Charles J. Shields

Lorraine Hansberry: The Life Behind A Raisin in the Sun

Lorraine Hansberry: The Life Behind A Raisin in the Sun

$29.99

About This Book

The moving story of the life of the woman behind A Raisin in the Sun, the most widely anthologized, read, and performed play of the American stage, by the New York Times bestselling...

Page Count
384
On Sale
01/18/2022

Book Details

The moving story of the life of the woman behind A Raisin in the Sun, the most widely anthologized, read, and performed play of the American stage, by the New York Times bestselling author of Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee

Written when she was just twenty-eight, Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark A Raisin in the Sun is listed by the National Theatre as one of the hundred most significant works of the twentieth century. Hansberry was the first Black woman to have a play performed on Broadway, and the first Black and youngest American playwright to win a New York Critics’ Circle Award.

Charles J. Shields’s authoritative biography of one of the twentieth century’s most admired playwrights examines the parts of Lorraine Hansberry’s life that have escaped public knowledge: the influence of her upper-class background, her fight for peace and nuclear disarmament, the reason why she embraced Communism during the Cold War, and her dependence on her white husband—her best friend, critic, and promoter. Many of the identity issues about class, sexuality, and race that she struggled with are relevant and urgent today.

This dramatic telling of a passionate life—a very American life through self-reinvention—uses previously unpublished interviews with close friends in politics and theater, privately held correspondence, and deep research to reconcile old mysteries and raise new questions about a life not fully described until now.

Imprint Publisher

Henry Holt and Co.

ISBN

9781250205537

In The News

“Drawing on meticulously researched sources, including previously unpublished interviews and private correspondence, Shields offers an illuminating portrait of Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) and her tragically brief but formidable career…A revealing and rewarding biography documenting the life, work, and historical relevance of a great American author.”
Kirkus Reviews, *starred review*

“[W]ell-researched…Shields explores [Hansberry’s] bifurcated youth in Chicago as a child who grew up as the daughter in a wealthy family yet was subjected to racism…[and] shows how an adult Hansberry became deeply attracted to communism…a fine introduction to Hansberry’s world.”
Publishers Weekly

“Amid a welcome resurgence of interest in Lorraine Hansberry, Charles J. Shields’s biography is distinguished by its narrative verve, its sweeping research, and its deep dive into the playwright’s several families, given and chosen. The joint history of A Raisin in the Sun and its ever-young author has never been richer.”
William J. Maxwell, author of F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostwriters Framed African American Literature, and professor of English and African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis

About the Creators

Lorraine Hansberry: The Life Behind A Raisin in the Sun

Lorraine Hansberry: The Life Behind A Raisin in the Sun

$29.99