Rediscover: Edward Albee

Legendary playwright Edward Albee, who died last week at age 88, launched his career with The Zoo Story, a one-act play written in three weeks that premiered in Berlin after being rejected by New York producers. Albee's most famous play, and his Broadway debut, opened in 1962. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? follows a dysfunctional husband and wife who embroil a younger couple in their marital turmoil. Three of his plays won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama: A Delicate Balance in 1967, Seascape in 1975 and Three Tall Women in 1994. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1963, as did The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? in 2002.

Mel Gussow (1933-2005) spent 35 years with the New York Times as a theater and movie critic. He wrote some 4,000 reviews and articles, including in-depth interviews with playwrights Arthur Miller, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard. The first review Gussow ever wrote was for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which launched a lifelong friendship with Edward Albee and a biography, Edward Albee: A Singular Journey, published by Simon & Schuster in 1999. In 2000, Applause Theatre & Cinema Books released Gussow's book in paperback ($18.99, 9781557834478). --Tobias Mutter

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