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The Rediscovery of a Lost Black Playwright

The playwright Alice Childress, who lived from 1916 to 1994, never saw her work produced on Broadway. Unlike some of her Black contemporaries—Lorraine Hansberry, August Wilson—she wasn’t canonized or widely taught. In her later years, “she felt like she had been forgotten,” the dramaturge Arminda Thomas said the other day. Lately, though, Childress has been remembered. This past winter, her 1955 play, “Trouble in Mind,” about an actress navigating backstage racism, made its long-awaited Broadway début. And, this month, Theatre for a New Audience is staging her drama “Wedding Band” at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center, in Brooklyn, its first New York production in half a century. Read more

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Myanmar Joins China and Saudi Arabia as World’s Top Jailers of Writers

The literary and free expression group PEN America found that in 2021, at least 277 writers, academics, and public intellectuals in 36 countries—in all geographic regions of the world—were unjustly imprisoned or held in detention in connection with their writing or other exercise of free expression. Read more

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The novelist who wrote “How to Murder Your Husband” is now on trial for murdering her husband

A few years after Nancy Crampton Brophy—a self-published romance novelist—wrote an essay called “How to Murder Your Husband,” her husband was found shot to death in his classroom at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland. While that essay might have been a little bit of a red flag to investigators, the trial judge has deemed it inadmissible as evidence on the grounds it might prove prejudicial (you think?). Read more

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USPS To Release Shel Silverstein Stamp

The U.S. Postal Service will honor author and illustrator Shel Silverstein with a Forever stamp featuring artwork from his book, “The Giving Tree.” The first-day-of-issue event will be held at the school Shel Silverstein attended, Chicago’s Darwin Elementary School. Read more

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