Cover image for Death of a salesman : certain private conversations in two acts and a requiem
Title:
Death of a salesman : certain private conversations in two acts and a requiem
Author:
Miller, Arthur, 1915-2005.
Personal Author:
Edition:
50th anniversary edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Penguin Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiii, 142 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 22 cm
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.2 5.0 5980.
ISBN:
9780140285659
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Central Library PS3525.I5156 D4 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Central Library PS3525.I5156 D4 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Central Library PS3525.I5156 D4 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Alden Ewell Free Library PS3525.I5156 D4 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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On Order

Summary

Summary

Reprint of the 1967 ed. published by Viking Press, New York.


Author Notes

The son of a well-to-do New York Jewish family, Miller graduated from high school and then went to work in a warehouse. He was born on October 17, 1915, in Harlem, New York City. His plays have been called "political," but he considers the areas of literature and politics to be quite separate and has said, "The only sure and valid aim---speaking of art as a weapon---is the humanizing of man." The recurring theme of all his plays is the relationship between a man's identity and the image that society demands of him. After two years, he entered the University of Michigan, where he soon started writing plays.

All My Sons (1947), a Broadway success that won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1947, tells the story of a son, home from the war, who learns that his brother's death was due to defective airplane parts turned out by their profiteering father. Death of a Salesman (1949), Miller's experimental yet classical American tragedy, received both the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1949. It is a poignant statement of a man facing himself and his failure. In The Crucible (1953), a play about bigotry in the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692, Miller brings into focus the social tragedy of a society gone mad, as well as the agony of a heroic individual. The play was generally considered to be a comment on the McCarthyism of its time. Miller himself appeared before the Congressional Un-American Activities Committee and steadfastly refused to involve his friends and associates when questioned about them.

His screenplay for The Misfits (1961), from his short story, was written for his second wife, actress Marilyn Monroe (see Vol. 3); After the Fall (1964) has clear autobiographical overtones and involves the story of this ill-fated marriage as well as further dealing with Miller's experiences with McCarthyism. In the one-act Incident at Vichy (1964), a group of men are picked off the streets one morning during the Nazi occupation of France. The Price (1968) is a psychological drama concerning two brothers, one a police officer, one a wealthy surgeon, whose long-standing conflict is explored over the disposal of their father's furniture. The Creation of the World and Other Business (1973) is a retelling of the story of Genesis, attempted as a comedy. The American Clock (1980) explores the impact of the Depression on the nation and its individual citizens.

Among Miller's most recent works is Danger: Memory! (1987), a study of two elderly friends. During the 1980s, almost all of Miller's plays were given major British revivals, and the playwright's work has been more popular in Britain than in the United States of late.

Miller died of heart failure after a battle against cancer, pneumonia and congestive heart disease at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut. He was 89 years old. (Bowker Author Biography) Arthur Miller, American playwright, was born on October 17, 1915, in New York City. He earned an AB from the University of Michigan and began to write plays while still a student. He won the first of his many awards, the Avery Hopwood Prize of the University of Michigan, for his first play, Honors at Dawn. This was followed by many other award-winning plays. One of the best-known of these, Death of a Salesman, won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1949 as well as a Drama Critics Circle Award; it continues to be one of the most frequently performed and adapted plays of this century. Some of his other titles include The Crucible, A View From the Bridge, The Misfits, After the Fall, and Vichy. Miller also wrote several travel pieces, including In Russia and Chinese Encounters (both in collaboration with his third wife, Ingeborg Morath); a novel, Focus; and the autobiography, Timebends: A Life.

Arthur Miller was married to Mary Grace Slattery in 1940. They had two children and were divorced in 1952. In 1956, he married actress Marilyn Monroe and they divorced in 1961. He married Morath in 1962 and they have two children together.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

An aging salesman faces the truth about himself and tries to make peace with his grown sons, whose lives have been colored by his skewed expectations.


Publisher's Weekly Review

This L.A. Theatre Works full-cast production of Miller's classic play about the crashing of the American Dream is an especially poignant listen during the current financial crisis. As the Loman family's aspirations come crashing down, patriarch Willy battles his ego and his slow decline into old age, while his two boys continue to fail as men. But with money dwindling, they must make one last attempt to find financial stability. Stacy Keach offers up an admirable rendition of Willy, for whom listeners will easily feel empathy as he swings from mood to mood. Keach's emotional range and energy dominates what is already an impressive production in terms of acting, sound effects, and sound clarity. Jane Kaczmarek provides a winning performance as Linda Loman, battling against the dominating and condescending males within the family. This audio drama proves so enjoyable that a second listening will definitely be necessary. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

This 50th-anniversary edition of Miller's masterpiece, which certainly is a contender for the finest American drama of the 20th century, includes the full text of the play, a chronology of its productions, photos from various stagings including the current Broadway revival, and a new preface by Miller himself, all in a quality hardcover for a reasonable price. Bravo, Penguin. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-In this full-cast performance featuring Stacy Keach and Jane Kaczmarck, Arthur Miller's 1949 classic has been recorded in front of a live audience. Miller's story of Willy Loman, the iconic traveling salesman, and his ultimate unraveling while in pursuit of the American dream invokes both empathy and pity. While Willy's linear thinking serves to illustrate his incessant need for success, his loyalty and love for his family peppers the story with humanity, making it just as relevant today as it was more than 60 years ago. The performance is powerful, with the narrators playing their characters with intensity and a humorous irony. Limited, yet calculated use of sound effects adds to the effectiveness of the production. While there are other audio versions of the play, the sound quality here is far better than previously recorded versions. Add this title to high school library collections where Death of a Salesman is part of the curriculum.-Rebecca Flannery, Lyman Memorial High School, Lebanon, CT (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize winning play addressed family conflict and the loss of American Idealism after World War II. Excerpted from Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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