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Why Shakespeare? What explains our continued fascination with his poems and plays? In "Living with Shakespeare, "Susannah Carson invites forty actors, directors, scholars, and writers to reflect on why his work is still such a vital part of our culture.
We hear from James Earl Jones on reclaiming Othello as a tragic hero, Julie Taymor on turning Prospero into Prospera, Camille Paglia on teaching the plays to actors, F. Murray Abraham on gaining an audience's sympathy for Shylock, Sir Ben Kingsley on communicating Shakespeare's ideas through performance, Germaine Greer on the playwright's home life, Dame Harriet Walter on the complexity of his heroines, Brian Cox on social conflict in his time and ours, Jane Smiley on transposing "King Lear" to Iowa in "A Thousand Acres," and Sir Antony Sher on feeling at home in Shakespeare's language. Together these essays provide a fresh appreciation of Shakespeare's works as a living legacy to be read, seen, performed, adapted, revised, wrestled with, and embraced by creative professionals and lay enthusiasts alike.
F. Murray Abraham Isabel Allende Cicely Berry Eve Best Eleanor Brown Stanley Cavell Karin Coonrod Brian Cox Peter David Margaret Drabble Dominic Dromgoole David Farr Fiasco Theater Ralph Fiennes Angus Fletcher James Franco Alan Gordon Germaine Greer Barry John James Earl Jones Sir Ben Kingsley Maxine Hong Kingston Rory Kinnear J. D. McClatchy Conor McCreery Tobias Menzies Joyce Carol Oates Camille Paglia James Prosek Richard Scholar Sir Antony Sher Jane Smiley Matt Sturges Julie Taymor Eamonn Walker Dame Harriet Walter Bill Willingham Jess Winfield.
"An eclectic collection of pieces from an eclectic collection of writers about reading, directing, performing and adoring the Bard of Avon.... All will find light and warmth, comfort and companionship in these glowing pages." —Kirkus Reviews
"A cornucopia of delights for lovers of the Bard." —Booklist
"Lively.... Thought-provoking.... The collection is a consistently stimulating read, which goes a great way toward illuminating the degree to which we all live already—and can live even further—with Shakespeare." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)