A.R. Gurney, a prolific playwright "who dissected the fading folkways of the Northeast's traditional white Anglo-Saxon Protestant society, of which he himself was a member, in plays like The Middle Ages, The Dining Room and The Cocktail Hour," died June 13, the New York Times reported. He was 86. "With its focus on the quirks and barely concealed anxieties of the privileged class, Mr. Gurney's work was often likened to that of the novelist John Cheever and the playwright Philip Barry," the Times noted.
"What seems to obsess me," he once said, "is the contrast between the world and the values I was immersed in when I was young, and the nature of the contemporary world."
Gurney was also the author of three novels: The Gospel According to Joe, Entertaining Strangers and The Snow Ball.