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Although ancestral voices have inspired many Armenian American writers of poetry and fiction in the twentieth century, their expression through drama has been limited. The first of its kind, this anthology is a collection of plays by notable Armenian Americans. Written in English largely by artists of Armenian extraction during the latter part of the twentieth century, the plays reflect the outrage of the Armenian Genocide, the forced transplantation that created the Armenian Diaspora, and the desire to maintain the newly established democratic homeland. Including a range of authors from William Saroyan to more contemporary voices, this anthology represents the writers that have stimulated cutting-edge contemporary drama from the mid-twentieth century to the present. The collection includes farce, comedy, tragicomedy, and tragedy (and sometimes blends of all of these). The plays reflect the shared experiences of Armenian family life in Armenia, Turkey, and America. The themes include the joy of freedom to practice their faith and ethnic customs, the turmoil of acculturation, and the feared loss of identity through assimilation. The editor has provided headnotes for each play and an extensive introduction tracing the history of Armenian American drama in the United States.
Columbia University Press
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