This masterful translation of four tragedies by Antonio Buero-Vallejo (1916 -2000), Spain 's most important dramatist since the 1930s, will allow English-speaking audiences to experience the most deeply moving and intellectually rich works of one of the twentieth-century 's great authors. Patricia W. O'Connor complements vivid translations with generous supporting materials, including a reader-friendly introduction to the playwright's life and work, commentaries on the plays, and photographs of productions and playwright.
Buero-Vallejo's emblematic first play, "Story of a Stairway" (1949), chronicling decades in the lives of struggling Madrid families, catapulted the young author into prominence. Appearing here for the first time in English, "Before Dawn" (1953) is a whodunit and the riveting odyssey of one woman 's search for truth that recalls Greek tragedy. "The Basement Window" (1967), an Orwellian science-fiction experiment, portrays the moral climate of the late twentieth century as judged by ethically enlightened researchers of a distant future. In the first English translation of the author's poignantly relevant final play, "Mission to the Deserted Village" (1999), a wartime attempt to save an El Greco painting raises questions about how much of its own treasure a culture will destroy to keep it out of enemy hands.
Readers who know Buero-Vallejo's plays will celebrate O'Connor 's sparkling translations. Those who haven't yet read Buero-Vallejo will find a very moving introduction in this collection.