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1 Hawthorne Drama- Plays

This title in other editions

Wit

by

Wit Cover

ISBN13: 9780571198771
ISBN10: 0571198775
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, and the Oppenheimer Award

Margaret Edsons powerfully imagined Pulitzer Prize-winning play examines what makes life worth living through her exploration of one of existences unifying experiences—mortality—while she also probes the vital importance of human relationships. What we as her audience take away from this remarkable drama is a keener sense that, while death is real and unavoidable, our lives are ours to cherish or throw away—a lesson that can be both uplifting and redemptive. As the playwright herself puts it, “The play is not about doctors or even about cancer. Its about kindness, but it shows arrogance. Its about compassion, but it shows insensitivity.”

In Wit, Edson delves into timeless questions with no final answers: How should we live our lives knowing that we will die? Is the way we live our lives and interact with others more important than what we achieve materially, professionally, or intellectually? How does language figure into our lives? Can science and art help us conquer death, or our fear of it? What will seem most important to each of us about life as that life comes to an end?

The immediacy of the presentation, and the clarity and elegance of Edsons writing, make this sophisticated, multilayered play accessible to almost any interested reader.

As the play begins, Vivian Bearing, a renowned professor of English who has

spent years studying and teaching the intricate, difficult Holy Sonnets of the

seventeenth-century poet John Donne, is diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. Confident of her ability to stay in control of events, she brings to her illness the same intensely rational and painstakingly methodical approach that has guided her stellar academic career. But as her disease and its excruciatingly painful treatment inexorably progress, she begins to question the single-minded values and standards that have always directed her, finally coming to understand the aspects of life that make it truly worth living.

Synopsis:

In this extraordinary play, Margaret Edson has created a work that is as intellectually challenging as it is emotionally immediate. At the start of Wit, Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned professor of English who has spent years studying and teaching the brilliantly difficult Holy Sonnets of the metaphysical poet John Donne, has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Her approach to her illness is not unlike her approach to the study of Donne: aggressively probing and intensely rational. But during the course of her illness — and her stint as a prize patient in an experimental chemotherapy program at a major teaching hospital — Vivian comes to reassess her life and her work with a profundity and humor that are transformative both for her and for the audience.

About the Author

Margaret Edson was born in Washington, D.C. in 1961. She has degrees in history and literature. She wrote Wit in 1991, after a period spent working as a clerk in the oncology/AIDS department of a Washington hospital in 1985. Edson now lives in Atlanta, where she teaches kindergarten.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

prufrock31, December 17, 2011 (view all comments by prufrock31)
A deeply moving exploration of what happens when a brilliant, prickly woman is faced with the one thing she can't outsmart: cancer. Vivian's diagnosis and subsequent fight force her to reconsider what she thought she knew about a person's individual worth and dignity, as distinguished from that person's intelligence or abilities. The juxtaposition of Vivian's vocabulary - that of a scholar and professor of metaphysical poetry - with that of experimental medicine helps convey how jarring this experience is for her.
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faob, June 29, 2010 (view all comments by faob)
My school chose "Wit" as a fall play a few years back; this decision later helped me understand what one of my teachers went through. My teacher is different from Vivian Bearing; my teacher has always been a fervent supporter of her students. She continues to fight both her cancer, and global warming. She has already come to the valuable conclusion of what makes life worth living that Vivian strives so painstakingly to find.
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(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
ReadingMathTeacher, July 1, 2009 (view all comments by ReadingMathTeacher)
This moving play pulls at the heartstrings of anyone who has loved someone who is terminally ill. Although it is difficult to address the emotions tied to such experiences, it somehow encourages emotional healing in the process. Having read the script and seen the production, I can honestly say I connected with Vivian more than most characters I have read.
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(5 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780571198771
Author:
Edson, Margaret
Publisher:
Faber & Faber
Location:
New York :
Subject:
American
Subject:
American drama (dramatic works by one author)
Subject:
Drama
Subject:
Women college teachers
Subject:
Cancer in women
Subject:
English teachers
Subject:
English teachers -- Drama.
Subject:
Women college teachers -- Drama.
Subject:
General Drama
Subject:
Cancer in women -- Drama.
Subject:
Drama-American Anthology
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
19990331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
96
Dimensions:
7.85 x 4.95 x 0.28 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » American Anthology
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Plays
Arts and Entertainment » Sale Books

Wit Used Trade Paper
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$5.95 In Stock
Product details 96 pages Faber & Faber - English 9780571198771 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
In this extraordinary play, Margaret Edson has created a work that is as intellectually challenging as it is emotionally immediate. At the start of Wit, Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned professor of English who has spent years studying and teaching the brilliantly difficult Holy Sonnets of the metaphysical poet John Donne, has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Her approach to her illness is not unlike her approach to the study of Donne: aggressively probing and intensely rational. But during the course of her illness — and her stint as a prize patient in an experimental chemotherapy program at a major teaching hospital — Vivian comes to reassess her life and her work with a profundity and humor that are transformative both for her and for the audience.

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