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Alice Childress Biography

(1920–1994), Trouble in Mind, Wedding Band, A Hero ain't Nothing but a Sandwich

African-American play-wright and novelist; born in Charleston, South Carolina, she grew up in Harlem, New York. She became an actress in the late 1930s and was director of the American Negro Theater School from 1941 to 1952. Among the best-known of her many plays are Trouble in Mind (1955), an inventive exploration of the theme of racial stereotyping, and Wedding Band (1961), centring on an inter-racial erotic relationship in the Southern states. In both her dramatic writings and her prose fiction she is noted for the uncompromising candour with which she treats controversial issues. Her novels include A Hero ain't Nothing but a Sandwich (1973), a harshly objective narrative of juvenile drug addiction, and A Short Walk (1979), which chronicles the life of a black woman in the early decades of the twentieth century. Among her other works is Like One of the Family: Conversations from a Domestic's Life (1956), a collection of wryly satirical monologues in the voice of ‘Mildred’, a black housemaid.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Cheltenham Gloucestershire to Cockermouth Cumbria