August Wilson

August Wilson photo

August Wilson was Voted the #39 Favorite Author of the 20th Century

August Wilson was born Frederick August Kittel to Daisy Wilson, an African American whose parents came from North Carolina, and Frederick Kittel, a red-haired baker who emigrated from Bohemia, Germany at 10.

August Wilson is the most influential and successful African American playwright writing today. He is the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author of Fences, The Piano Lesson, King Hedley II, Ma Rainy’s Black Bottom, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Seven Guitars, Two Trains Running, Jitney and Radio Golf. His plays have been produced all over the world.  (April 27, 1945’October 2, 2005)

Wilson’s singular achievement and literary legacy is a cycle of ten plays’ two of which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama’dubbed "The Pittsburgh Cycle". Each is set in a different decade, depicting the comedy and tragedy of the African-American experience in the 20th century.

August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle (10 plays covering 10 decades)

  1. 1900s - Gem of the Ocean (1904)
  2. 1910s - Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (1911) - NY Drama Critics Circle Award
  3. 1920s - Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (1927)
  4. 1930s - The Piano Lesson (1936) - Pulitzer Prize
  5. 1940s - Seven Guitars (1948)
  6. 1950s - Fences (1957) - Pulitzer Prize
  7. 1960s - Two Trains Running (1969)
  8. 1970s - Jitney (1977)
  9. 1980s - King Hedley II
  10. 1990s - Radio Golf (1997)

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23 Books by August Wilson