by Antonio Buero-Vallejo
translated by Patricia O'Connor
University Press of Colorado, 2008
Cloth: 978-0-87081-902-5 | Paper: 978-0-87081-903-2
Library of Congress Classification PQ6603.U4A2 2008
Dewey Decimal Classification 862.64

This masterful translation of four tragedies by Antonio Buero-Vallejo (1916 -2000), Spain 's most important dramatist since the 1930s, will allow English-speaking audiences to experience the most deeply moving and intellectually rich works of one of the twentieth-century 's great authors. Patricia W. O'Connor complements vivid translations with generous supporting materials, including a reader-friendly introduction to the playwright's life and work, commentaries on the plays, and photographs of productions and playwright.

Buero-Vallejo's emblematic first play, Story of a Stairway (1949), chronicling decades in the lives of struggling Madrid families, catapulted the young author into prominence. Appearing here for the first time in English, Before Dawn (1953) is a whodunit and the riveting odyssey of one woman 's search for truth that recalls Greek tragedy. The Basement Window (1967), an Orwellian science-fiction experiment, portrays the moral climate of the late twentieth century as judged by ethically enlightened researchers of a distant future. In the first English translation of the author's poignantly relevant final play, Mission to the Deserted Village (1999), a wartime attempt to save an El Greco painting raises questions about how much of its own treasure a culture will destroy to keep it out of enemy hands.

Readers who know Buero-Vallejo's plays will celebrate O'Connor 's sparkling translations. Those who haven't yet read Buero-Vallejo will find a very moving introduction in this collection.

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