photo credits: Wikimedia Commons
country of citizenship:
United States of America
language of expression: English
educated at: Drake University, University of Chicago
occupation: journalist, novelist, playwright, writer, biographer, feminist, actor
award received: Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Iowa Women's Hall of Fame
Susan Keating Glaspell (July 1, 1876 – July 28, 1948) was an American playwright, novelist, journalist and actress. With her husband George Cram Cook, she founded the Provincetown Players, the first modern American theatre company.First known for her short stories (fifty were published), Glaspell is known also to have written nine novels, fifteen plays, and a biography. Often set in her native Midwest, these semi-autobiographical tales typically explore contemporary social issues, such as gender, ethics, and dissent, while featuring deep, sympathetic characters who make principled stands. Her 1930 play Alison's House earned her the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.After her husband's death in Greece, she returned to the United States with their children. During the Great Depression, Glaspell worked in Chicago for the Works Progress Administration, where she was Midwest Bureau Director of the Federal Theater Project. Although a best-selling author in her own time, after her death Glaspell attracted less interest and her books went out of print. She was also noted for discovering playwright Eugene O'Neill.
Since the late 20th century, critical reassessment of women's contributions has led to renewed interest in her career and a revival of her reputation. In the early 21st century Glaspell is today recognized as a pioneering feminist writer and America's first important modern female playwright. Her one-act play Trifles (1916) is frequently cited as one of the greatest works of American theatre. According to Britain's leading theatre critic, Michael Billington, she remains "American drama's best-kept secret."
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