Magnificent Marvel Supersale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Beyond the Headlines | March 6, 2015

    Rhianna Walton: IMG Beyond the Headlines: How to Visit Cuba

    Ever since President Obama's December announcement that the United States is resuming full diplomatic ties with Cuba, the Powell's buyers' office... Continue »

Qualifying orders ship free.
List price: $20.00
Sale Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
5 Burnside Drama- Plays

More copies of this ISBN

Soul of a Whore and Purvis: Two Plays in Verse


Soul of a Whore and Purvis: Two Plays in Verse Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Two plays—hilarious and searing in equal measure—by one of our most essential and original authors

In his poetry, short stories, novels, and plays, the National Book Award-winning author Denis Johnson has explored the story of America—especially of the West, land of self-made men and self-perpetuating myths—with searing honesty and genuine sympathy. These two plays, written in verse at once hypnotic and clear, confirm his position as one of our great verbal stylists and a literary conscience for our times.

In Soul of a Whore, a lively cast of characters—faith healers, pimps, strippers, actual demons—converge, with unexpected hilarity, as Bess Cassandra awaits execution for the murder of her infant daughter. Purviss seven reverse-chronological scenes catalog the fall and rise of Melvin Purvis, the G-man who brought down John Dillinger and Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd. Johnson takes us from Washingtons back rooms to a Midwestern cornfield, dramatizing the seductive allure of power and our own human capacity for both pettiness and grace.

In these furiously entertaining, occasionally terrifying works, Johnson chronicles and questions Americas myths, heroes, and everyday realities with verve and elegance, revealing himself once again to be at the height of his linguistic and insightful powers.  

About the Author

Denis Johnson is the author of nine novels, three collections of poetry, and one book of reportage. Between 2000 and 2010, during his stint as Playwright in Residence for the Campo Santo Theater Company at San Franciscos Intersection for the Arts, he wrote six productions for the stage, all premiered by Campo Santo. His novel Tree of Smoke was the 2007 winner of the National Book Award, and his novella Train Dreams was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.

Product Details

Johnson, Denis
Farrar Straus Giroux
Drama-American Anthology
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
8.25 x 5.5 in

Other books you might like

  1. Gone Girl
    Used Mass Market $5.50
  2. The Newlyweds
    Used Hardcover $4.95
  3. Beautiful Ruins
    Used Hardcover $9.95

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » American Anthology
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Plays
Arts and Entertainment » Sale Books
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Soul of a Whore and Purvis: Two Plays in Verse Sale Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.98 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374277963 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at