Aunt Ester's Children Redeemed (PB) (2017)

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August Wilson (1945-2005) wrote one play for every decade of the twentieth century that explored black life in America for the descendants of slaves. All of his characters seek wholeness, identity, and reconstituted selves after the terror of 250 years chattel slavery and its terrifying legacy. Their history, culture, wisdom, joys, triumphs, pain, sufferings, victories, weaknesses, and strengths are all embodied in one character, Aunt Ester. She is as old as the number of years blacks have been on these shores. All of the characters in the ten-play cycle are her children. Their search is through circumstance and adventure, certainly. This author demonstrates how Wilson uses language--poetry, the blues--to bring each play's characters to a point of wholeness, redemption, and freedom, not from history, but ennobled and strengthened by it. Wilson employs fundamental theological doctrines to exhort Aunt Ester's children to remember by whom and how they were freed and made whole. ""Only the willfully ignorant do not understand the centrality of the African-American experience in the larger framework of American history. Only an ostrich, head buried in the sand, does not know the breadth of August Wilson's stunning body of work. But only Riley Temple could expose that work--and its unifying genius--with scholarship and emotion and genuine Spirit!"" --Ken Burns, filmmaker ""This book should serve as required reading for every artist, student of theater, and every lover of the American Stage. It is stunning in its unique approach to, and understanding of, the great national treasure--August Wilson--that has left us so much in the form of ten extraordinary plays. . . . I say boldly and loudly that Aunt Ester's Children Redeemed is insightful, enduring, and unforgettable."" --Kenny Leon, Broadway director ""Here is an outstanding study of an iconic African-American playwright: August Wilson. Elegantly written, masterful analytical, and utterly illuminating, this is a book that opens up a new world for cultural connection grounded in theological reflection. A new genre is being born, a genre of interconnected literary theology, a genre that has the potential to shatter the conventional artistic and theological worlds."" --Ian S. Markham, Virginia Theological Seminary Riley Keene Temple is an avid American arts advocate and supporter, and has been honored for his leadership of arts organizations. He is a telecommunications attorney in Washington DC, where his Board memberships include the National Archives Foundation and the Trust for the National Endowment for the Humanities. He holds a Masters degree, cum laude, of Theological Studies from the Virginia Theological Seminary. He has written frequently on theology and the creative arts.


Riley Keene Temple
ISBN 10:
Cascade Books
Publication Date:
February 13, 2017

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