Magazine March 20, 2017, Issue

Reconsidering August Wilson

Denzel Washington, Mykelti Williamson, and Viola Davis in Fences (Photo: David Lee/Paramount Pictures)

The film adaptation of August Wilson’s Fences, which is now in theaters, has brought its late author some well-deserved new accolades. What’s notable about this playwright’s reputation, though, is how different his record of achievement is from what a study of his press clippings and his many award nominations would suggest. He received a Tony, two Pulitzers, and five Best Play awards from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle — but, all too often, those prizes were given to him with a conspicuous measure of self-satisfaction. Many of the critics seemed to be patting themselves on the back for their

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners

City Desk

A City of Shopkeepers

The city is full of walk-in businesses — shops, stores, eateries, bars, banks, fix-it places. That means the streets are full of business names. Many belong to chains — Victoria’s ...


Politics & Policy


Pain and Punishment Psychiatrist Sally Satel’s piece “Treating Opioid Addiction” (March 6) favors “benign paternalism” in public policy regarding what some have hysterically called an “epidemic” but Dr. Satel more soberly ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We’re told the envelope given to Warren Beatty actually contained Nate Silver’s projection. ‐ To replace Michael Flynn as national-security adviser, Donald Trump selected someone uniquely suited for the position. ...
Politics & Policy


GLOUCESTER Lizard-voiced, the seagull, esurient And flush with light, cuts through sapphire and salt Waves, to gratify pure appetite. Granite endures like graves. Briars bloom. On planks and shelves, books dock like sailing ships And wait ...


The Latest

The Wuhan Lab Cover-Up

The Wuhan Lab Cover-Up

It's now certain that the U.S. government misled the public about the kind of research that the U.S. taxpayers were indirectly funding in China.