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Edgar White Biography

(1947– ), The Nine Night, Ritual by Water, Underground: Four Plays, The Crucificado: Two Plays

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Robert Penn Warren Biography to Kenneth White Biography

West Indian playwright, born in Montserrat. Some of his plays have been produced by Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare's Theatre. At his best, in plays like ‘The Nine Night’ and ‘Ritual by Water’ (1984), he combines religious ritual and witty repartee with stark realism about life for West Indian families in Britain. His work tends to be restlessly experimental, and confronts the frustrations and moral dilemmas facing blacks in America, the West Indies, and Britain. Other published plays include Underground: Four Plays (1970), The Crucificado: Two Plays (1973), Lament for Rastafari and Other Plays (1983), and Redemption Song and Other Plays (1985). His first novel, The Rising (1988), focuses on a little West Indian boy, Legion, brought up by his single mother, who is ruthlessly dominated by his matriarchal grandmother.

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