The Hills Are Alive for Suzan-Lori Parks

Correction Nov. 10, 2005

The the 'Great Debaters' film project mentioned in this report is based on the work of Robert Eisele.

Suzan-Lori Parks. Credit: Random House

hide captionStage successes led Suzan-Lori Parks to write stories and novels.

Random House
Sound of Music; Taxi Driver. Credit: 20th Century Fox, Columbia/Tristar

hide captionSuzan-Lori Parks lists scenes from The Sound of Music and Taxi Driver among her favorites.

20th Century Fox, Columbia/TriStar

Novelist and playwright Suzan-Lori Parks has won acclaim for her depictions of modern African-American life.

After receiving a MacArthur "Genius Grant" award in 2001, Parks won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in drama for Topdog/Underdog), the story of two con men — also brothers — searching for ways to succeed. In the world of movies, filmmaker Spike Lee directed her first feature film, Girl 6.

For the ongoing series Scenes I Wish I Had Written, NPR's Susan Stamberg spoke with the playwright about her favorite dramatic pieces. The writer known for putting colorful dialogue into cleverly structured plots chose two dissimilar sketches: the opening of The Sound of Music, along with a bit of Taxi Driver.

Parks, who lives in California, is currently working on both a new play and a novel.

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Books Featured In This Story

Topdog/Underdog
Topdog/Underdog

by Suzan-Lori Parks

Paperback, 109 pages | purchase

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  • Suzan-Lori Parks
Getting Mother's Body
Getting Mother's Body

A Novel

by Suzan-Lori Parks

Paperback, 288 pages | purchase

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  • Getting Mother's Body
  • A Novel
  • Suzan-Lori Parks

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