(Note: I wrote this essay after watching the recently debuted Netflix movie version of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, based on the play by African-American dramatist August Wilson. I am a huge Wilson fan, and wanted to tell the story of how I discovered him and why I believe he’s one of America’s literary treasures.)

One of my favorite college courses at Stanford was Modern Drama, where we read the canon of the best plays from the last 150 years. We started with Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and worked our way through O’Neill (Long Day’s Journey Into Night), Miller (Death of…






David Hirning

I’m a Seattle resident of four decades. I write about homelessness and other pressing (and not-so-pressing) issues that beset the human condition.

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