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A Raisin in the Sun [Mass Market Paperback]

Lorraine Hansberry
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 29 2004 Vintage
When it was first produced in 1959, A Raisin in the Sun was awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for that season and hailed as a watershed in American drama. A pioneering work by an African-American playwright, the play was a radically new representation of black life. "A play that changed American theater forever."--The New York Times.

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Review

“A beautiful, lovable play. It is affectionately human, funny and touching. . . . A work of theatrical magic in which the usual barrier between audience and stage disappears.”
John Chapman, New York News

“An honest, intelligible, and moving experience.”
Walter Kerr, New York Herald Tribune

“Miss Hansberry has etched her characters with understanding, and told her story with dramatic impact. She has a keen sense of humor, an ear for accurate speech and compassion for people.”
Robert Coleman, New York Mirror

“A Raisin in the Sun has vigor as well as veracity.”
Brooks Atkinson, New York Times

“It is honest drama, catching up real people. . . . It will make you proud of human beings.”
Frank Aston, New York World-Telegram & Sun

“A wonderfully emotional evening.”
John McClain, New York Journal American

From the Back Cover

“A beautiful, lovable play. It is affectionately human, funny and touching. . . . A work of theatrical magic in which the usual barrier between audience and stage disappears.”
John Chapman, New York News

“An honest, intelligible, and moving experience.”
Walter Kerr, New York Herald Tribune

“Miss Hansberry has etched her characters with understanding, and told her story with dramatic impact. She has a keen sense of humor, an ear for accurate speech and compassion for people.”
Robert Coleman, New York Mirror

“A Raisin in the Sun has vigor as well as veracity.”
Brooks Atkinson, New York Times

“It is honest drama, catching up real people. . . . It will make you proud of human beings.”
Frank Aston, New York World-Telegram & Sun

“A wonderfully emotional evening.”
John McClain, New York Journal American
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 4 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very good
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking book Jan. 29 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This play is really great for displaying racial prejudices in its day, and also is a great depiction of overcoming obstacles.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The complete version Aug. 3 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This edition is important because of the introduction by Robert Nemiroff, and because it is the complete manuscript as written by Lorraine Hansberry. A number of scenes and passages were not included in the original Broadway script and the script of the first movie. The reason for the exclusions was to make the play more palatable for a white audience. The introduction explains the importance of each of the excluded passages. Hopefully the latest Broadway version with Denzel Washington will be based on the complete manuscript.
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By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This play was also required of me on my 10th-grade English class. Boring, right? Not really. I found the story to be inspiring and emotional and the characters realistic, multi-faceted and down-to-earth. Beneatha's loftiness, spontaneity and charming flightiness reminded me very much of my younger sister, which enhanced the realism of the book. The character of Mama was someone I would have liked to meet in real life; simple and ignorant but conventionally wise and hardworking. The story dealt with both the characters' internal and external conflicts, conflicts with money, lovers and family, which in my mind made it very interesting reading. This book outlines a colorful premise on the life of an African American family and describes their fight for their dreams.

Schools have been using this play to get students reading and give them different perspectives. I think this book is for all. Some language...but it's not like no one has heard any badmouthing anyway. I think that it is just a really good play too and that Lorraine Hansberry did a good job just weaving everything together. You can really relate to this story with the dilemmas and questions it rises. And it's not like anything of a complicated story either, you can really decipher it. And last I believe the author wrote from her heart, expressing herself through her work majestically and with realistic emotion regarding the problems of the Younger family could easily have struck a lower middle class black family in the 1950's.

"A Raisin in the Sun" shows the importance of family values during times of racial discrimination. The book teaches us a lesson that nothing should come between family ties. It's definitely one of my favorite classic reads plus the film version featuring Sidney Poitier is great as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius June 26 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is truly a work of genius about a family in which each member has his/her own big dream of what he/she wants to do with his/her life. However, each of their dreams requires money, which this family is very short on. The way they deal with this is what makes this story so vital. This play is a definate must-have for your collection.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
The play A Raisin in the Sun takes its title from a line from the classic poem by Langston Hughes that I is called "A Dream Deferred." Appropriately enough, the play focuses on the deferred dreams of the Younger family, an African American family living in Chicago sometime after World War II. The family consists of Mama, Walter Lee Younger, his wife Ruth, his son Travis, and his sister Berneath. The whole family lives together in a small apartment. It is long been Mama dream to move into a house and she could finally make this a reality with the aid of insurance money from her deceased husband's policy. Walter Lee, however, wants to use the money to open up a liquor store because he is tired of working as an unrespected chauffer. Berneath--a college student--dreams of becoming a doctor and believes that some of the money should go to her schooling. Thus, although each family member believes that the money will fullfill their dreams, it actually just causes more conflicts. The ultimate theme of the play is that money itself cannot make your dreams come true. Dreams must be worked on in order for them to come true. Eventhough some dreams may never be realized, they never truely "die." Instead, they allows remain in the back of your mind ever if they will never actually be realized.
I found this play an enjoyable and quick read. To me, it was more appealing than plays of August Wilson, who wrote plays of a similar theme (Fences, The Piano Lesson). One good thing about the play is that although the Youngers are a black family, the theme of the play seems appealing to any audience since many families have had money problems and even more families have had dreams about life that they have struggled to fulfill.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Nice for society to reflect... May 22 2004
By tonisha
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This play helps to remind all people where we came from and gives us more reason to appreciate where we are. Beautifully written, and heartfelt. I love the independence and strength of the female characters, especially Mama. I applaud Beneatha's need for more, and Ruth's strength to deal with her husband and any misfortune that is thrown her way. Truly a movable classic. I loved it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very moving. April 8 2004
By MAB
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"A Raisin in the Sun" reads more like a novel than a play. With a multitude of dialogue, and lenient stage direction, you'll finish reading this play in no time at all. The characters are strong, liable, and intriguing. I'm not sure I'd want to see it performed, but it is poignant to read. I recommend.
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