cover of book

Four Places: A Play
by Joel Drake Johnson
Northwestern University Press, 2009
Paper: 978-0-8101-2574-2
Library of Congress Classification PS3610.O3566F68 2009
Dewey Decimal Classification 812.6


Sketched together on a deceptively simple frame, this emotionally precise play uses its spare structure to devastating and darkly comic effect. A brother and sister have received word from their parents’ caretaker that their elderly parents may be a danger to each other. The brother breaks his routine to join his sister and mother on their weekly lunch date in hopes that together he and his sister can get a clearer picture of the situation. As the mother confronts the indignities of age and the children stare down a mounting list of losses and disappointments, an image of the family emerges that is true to life. Johnson gives readers an unwavering exploration of the ways that the love and knowledge family members have of one another creates both hurt and comfort.

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