"Never before, the entire history of the American theater, has so much of the truth of black people’s lives been seen on the stage," observed James Baldwin shortly before A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway in 1959.
Indeed Lorraine Hansberry’s award-winning drama about the hopes and aspirations of a struggling, working-class family living on the South Side of Chicago connected profoundly with the psyche of black America–and changed American theater forever. The play’s title comes from a line in Langston Hughes’s poem "Harlem," which warns that a dream deferred might "dry up/like a raisin in the sun."
"The events of every passing year add resonance to A Raisin in the Sun," said The New York Times. "It is as if history is conspiring to make the play a classic." This Modern Library edition presents the fully restored, uncut version of Hansberry’s landmark work with an introduction by Robert Nemiroff.
Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) electrified the theatrical world with her first play, A Raisin in the Sun, which won the New York Critics Circle Award for the 1958-59 season. Before her tragic death from cancer at the age of 34, she had… More about Lorraine Hansberry
“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