Italian playwright, director and performer Dario Fo, "whose scathingly satirical work earned him both praise and condemnation, as well as the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature," died yesterday, the New York Times reported. He was 90. Fo wrote more than 80 plays, many of them in collaboration with his wife, Franca Rame, who died in 2013.
Fo's best known works were Accidental Death of an Anarchist and his one-man show Mistero Buffo (Comic Mystery). His books include We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! And Other Works: The Collected Plays of Dario Fo, Volume 1; Mistero Buffo: The Collected Plays of Dario Fo, Volume 2; The Peasants' Bible & the Story of the Tiger; and The Tricks of the Trade.
In his Nobel lecture, Fo said he shared the medal with Franca, "my companion in life and in art who you, members of the Academy, acknowledge in your motivation of the prize as actress and author; who has had a hand in many of the texts of our theatre.... Without her at my side, where she has been for a lifetime, I would never have accomplished the work you have seen fit to honor. Together we've staged and recited thousands of performances, in theatres, occupied factories, at university sit-ins, even in deconsecrated churches, in prisons and city parks, in sunshine and pouring rain, always together. We've had to endure abuse, assaults by the police, insults from the right-thinking, and violence. And it is Franca who has had to suffer the most atrocious aggression. She has had to pay more dearly than any one of us, with her neck and limb in the balance, for the solidarity with the humble and the beaten that has been our premise."
Clara Elizabeth Johnson, who owned Harold's Bookstore in Wakefield, R.I., died October 4, the Independent reported. She was 70. One of the first New Age bookstores in New England, Harold's "provided many in the community with a gathering place, center of new thinking, and a place of peace," the Independent wrote. In 1995, Johnson sold the bookshop after 20 years in business.