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About the book
  • Published: 15 April 2017
  • ISBN: 9781101974391
  • Imprint: Vintage USA
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: $24.99
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A Particle Of Dread


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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Buried Child: an extraordinary modern-day interpretation of Oedipus Rex.

In his daring new play, Sam Shepard looks to one of the most famous narratives in history—Oedipus Rex—and recasts it as a modern thriller. In this telling, Oedipus, King of Thebes, prophesized to kill his father and marry his mother, alternates between his classical identity and that of contemporary “Otto.” His wife (and true mother), Jocasta, is also called Jocelyn, and his antagonist (and true father) is split into three characters, Laius, Larry, and Langos. Acting as our Greek chorus are two present-day policemen from the American West, who are determined to get to the bottom of this murder case. Dazzlingly inventive, ringing with the timelessness of myth, A Particle of Dread is an unforgettable work that grapples with questions of storytelling and destiny—the narratives that we pass down, and how they shape our lives. It is a play that lingers in the mind long after we finish the last scene.

  • Pub date: 15 April 2017
  • ISBN: 9781101974391
  • Imprint: Vintage USA
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard has written forty-five plays, twelve of which have won Obie Awards. In 1979 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Buried Child, and in 1984 he gained an Oscar nomination for his performance in The Right Stuff. His screenplay for Paris, Texas won the Golden Palm Award at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, and he wrote and directed the film Far North in 1988. Other plays by Sam Shepard include Curse of the Starving Class, True West, Fool for Love and A Lie of the Mind. In 1986 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 1992 he received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy. In 2009 Shepard received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award.

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