AWS Renounces Unauthorized Biography of August Wilson

In an April 1 blog post, August Wilson Blog contributor CoCo Harris wrote about Patti Hartigan’s proposed biography of August Wilson.  A separate article also ran in the NY Times.

Since then, the August Wilson Estate–in the form of an email sent to approximately 82 recipients–has indicated that it has withdrawn its authorization for the project.  No specific reason was given.

In response, August Wilson Society President Sandra Shannon has released the following statement:

The August Wilson Society stands in solidarity with Constanza Romero and the Estate of August Wilson in renouncing Patti Hartigan’s recently publicized plans to write an unauthorized biography of August Wilson. This project strikes at the very core of the late playwright’s career-long battle against those who would wrestle ownership of another’s story, usurp their song, commodify it, and risk not “telling it right.”

An unauthorized biography also opposes the Wilson Society’s longstanding mission of “commemorating August Wilson by promoting the studying, the teaching, the researching, and the ultimate safeguarding of the rich legacy that Wilson has bequeathed to us in the form of 10 plays that chronicle the stories of African Americans from 1904 to 1997.”

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