Baylor University Press Releases Book by Legendary Playwright Horton Foote

Feb. 23, 2004
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Baylor University Press has released Genesis of an American Playwright, a compilation of essays by legendary playwright Horton Foote and edited by Dr. Marion Castleberry, associate professor of theater arts at Baylor.

In the book, Foote reflects on his journey from his childhood in Wharton, Texas, through his early experiences as an actor in the theater to his vocation as a playwright. He carefully identifies the people and influences that shaped his character and nurtured his art. What is remarkable about this book is equally remarkable about Foote's drama: he writes with an effortlessness that belies the intimacy of the art emanating from deep within. The stories are simply told, but complex in their resonance. Foote not only reveals his immediate professional world, but he also provides a running commentary on the changes in American culture. This book makes for as fascinating reading as it does compelling history.

Actress Jean Stapleton said Genesis of an American Playwright is "a book of generosity and honesty that every aspiring writer should read," while playwright Romulus Linney said, "Here, in all its astonishing range and depth, in his own words and over years and years and years, is the life and work of one of America's greatest writers. Read it with love and awe."

Foote, who was named Distinguished Visiting Dramatist at Baylor in 2002 and will be honored by the university March 3-6 during the Horton Foote American Playwrights Festival.

Born in Wharton in 1916, Foote received his first Academy Award in 1962 for his screenplay of "To Kill a Mockingbird" and his second in 1983 for "Tender Mercies." He received a Pulitzer Prize for his play "The Young Man from Atlanta."

In 1989, he was the recipient of The William Inge Award for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater. More recent honors include a Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy of Arts and Letters, an Emmy Award for his television adaptation of William Faulkner's "The Old Man" and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Writer's Guild of America. He received the National Medal of Arts Award from President Bill Clinton.

The book is available for $29.95 from Baylor University Press. For more information, contact Rusty Edwards, marketing manager, at (254) 710-4800.

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