ABOUT THIS BOOK
Before Lanford Wilson became a Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright, with such celebrated productions as The Hot l Baltimore, Fifth of July, Talley’s Folly, and Burn This, he wrote dozens of short stories and poems, many of which take place in the 1950s, small-town Missouri where he grew up. This selection of Wilson’s early work, written between 1955 and 1967 when he was between the ages of 18 and 30, provides a rare look at a young writer developing his style. The stories explore many of the themes Wilson later took up in the theater, such as sexual identity and the rupture of societies and families. These never-before-published works—part of the manuscript collection donated by Wilson to the University of Missouri—shed light on the roots of some of America’s best-loved plays and are accomplished and evocative works in their own right.