The Greatest American Playwright – Brooke Allen
A previously published essay on an early 20th century American playwright.
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Brooke Allen Bio
Brooke Allen was born in 1956 and grew up in New York City. She received a BA from the University of Virginia in 1979 and a PhD in English from Columbia University in 1993. She later worked in theatre, including as a playwright (writing a play, The Big Love) and as managing editor for the literary and art magazine Grand Street.
Brooke Allen publishes essays and reviews in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, The New Criterion, The Hudson Review, The New Leader and Time Out New York.
Her books include Twentieth-Century Attitudes: Literary Powers in Uncertain Times, Ivan R. Dee (Chicago, IL), 2003, a series of essays on twentieth-century writers such as Colette, Virginia Woolf, H.G. Wells, Edith Wharton, Henry James and others. In Artistic License: Three Centuries of Good Writing and Bad Behavior, Ivan R. Dee (Chicago, IL), 2004, Brooke Allen presented a collection of essays combining biography and criticism exploring the lives and achievements of famous authors who suffered from difficult lives and personalities (including Laurence Sterne, Hans Christian Andersen, and Bram Stoker, Sinclair Lewis and others). Later, in Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers, Ivan R. Dee (Chicago, IL), 2006, Brooke Allen explored the religious beliefs of various figures of the early United State (including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton).
Ms. Allen is married to Peter Aaron, an architectural photographer, and is the mother of twin daughters. She lives in New York City and Upstate New York, but she has also lived in France and in Kenya.