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Monday, October 03, 2005

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Leading US playwright Wilson dies

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Leading US playwright Wilson dies Leading US playwright Wilson dies
Pulitzer Prize-winning US playwright August Wilson, who wrote a series of landmark dramas about 20th Century life in black America, has died.

Wilson, who was 60, had suffered from liver cancer, a spokeswoman said.

He wrote 10 acclaimed plays about black American life and identity - one for each decade of the 20th Century.

Fences and The Piano Lesson both won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, while five of the 10 won New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards for best play.

'Great writer'

The first in the series, Gem of the Ocean, was set in 1904 with memories of the slave trade, while the most recent, Radio Golf, took his Pittsburgh cycle back to where it began.

Premiered in April, it featured a successful middle-class businessman who had forgotten the past.

"We've lost a great writer, I think the greatest writer that our generation has seen," said Kenny Leon, who directed Radio Golf and the Broadway production of Gem of the Ocean.

Wilson told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in August: "I've lived a blessed life. I'm ready."
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