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People of Prowess
Sport, Leisure, and Labor in Early Anglo-America
Nancy L. Struna
University of Illinois Press, 1996
Americans have revered prowess in sports going back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Nancy L. Struna explores the significance, meaning, and structure of competitive matches and displays of physical prowess for both men and women in colonial culture. Engrossingly written for the general reader as well as sport and leisure historians, People of Prowess is a pioneering work that explores a rarely examined area of colonial history and society.

front cover of Prowess
A Play
Ike Holter
Northwestern University Press, 2019

Avenging Chicagoans form a league for justice in Ike Holter’s superhero-inspired play, Prowess. In this heartfelt yet fantastical homage to Chicago, award-winning playwright Ike Holter introduces us to a quartet of “average” citizens who have been the victims of violence and felt powerless because of it.

In the face of the city’s seemingly intractable ills, the play’s characters join forces to rescue Chicago—and themselves. But how? With heart, wit, and wisdom, Holter explores how one responds to violence. Does a person focus on self-defense and personal survival? Or fight back—with more violence? Pulsating and physical, Prowess is about vulnerability, vigilantism, heroism, and self-knowledge. 

Prowess is one of seven plays in Holter’s Rightlynd Saga, all to be published by Northwestern University Press. The other plays in the cycle are Rightlynd, Exit Strategy, Sender, The Wolf at the End of the Block, Red Rex, and Lottery Day.


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