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The books are available in shops and libraries.  You can also buy them from Amazon in America or Europe- click on the images.


Criticism USA UK/Europe
About Kane.  Graham Saunders offers an important study of Sarah Kane. His survey includes a concise biography, in-depth analysis of Sarah Kane’s work, and interviews with Kane and those who helped to put her work on stage.  Highly recommended. click for Amazon USA


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Sarah Kane's Blasted. An in-depth study of the play by Helen Iball.  Highly recommended. click for Amazon USA


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'Love me or kill me': Sarah Kane and the Theatre of Extremes by Graham Saunders.
Highly recommended.  The book in in two sections, the first covering each of the plays:
"Crave and 4.48 Psychosis are... both noticeable in their disregard of setting.  Whereas in her previous plays Kane had been very particular about providing details of location, such as the ´expensive hotel room in Leeds´... the spaces which Crave and 4.48 Psychosis inhabit more closely resemble mindscapes which the director and/or designer are free to conjure with."

and the second featuring interviews by Saunders with Kane directors James Macdonald and Vicky Featherstone, Nils Tabert, Mel Kenyon, Phyllis Nagy, Kate Ashfield,  Daniel Evans and Stuart McQuarrie.  From the interview by Saunders of James Macdonald:

"Saunders: The use of specifying rain through a spectrum of different seasons seems to give the play a further surreal quality- of time slowed down like one of Cate´s fits.
Macdonald: The sense of altering time scale also relates to the use of alternating darkness and light once Ian has been blinded..."

Sarah Kane
207 pages with photos.


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In-Yer-Face by Aleks Sierz
Young British playwrights. 32 pages on Kane. A good biographical overview
On Cleansed: "In a play about love, each of the four main relationships is different and symbolic. Grace and Graham represent the fantasy of incestuous, identity-sharing twins; Carl and Rod are the classic couple, one member of which is idealistic, the other realistic; Tinker and the dancer represent domination and alienated love; Grace and Robin experience a teacher and pupil, mother and child rapport. In each case, the relationship is difficult and makes suggestive assumptions about gender and identity: Grace becomes Graham without ceasing to be female, Carl and Rod are the same sex but have the opposite sensibilities; Tinker has the power to abuse the dancer, but she's complicit in her victimization; Robin is needy and falls in love with care and knowledge, which kill him"
Highly Recommended.
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Cruelty and Desire in the Modern Theater: Artonin Artaud, Sarah Kane, and Samuel Beckett
by Laurens De Vos.
"Departing from a refreshing look at the ideas of Antonin Artaud, this book provides a thorough analysis of how both Sarah Kane and Samuel Beckett are indebted to his legacy. In juxtaposing these playrights, De Vos minutely points out how both in their own way struggle to coming to terms with Artaud."  The book is expensive.
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  Drama + Theory: Critical approaches to modern British drama
by Peter Buse
"Each chapter pairs a well-known play from the post-war period with a classic theory text."  One chapter, 19 pages, is "Trauma and testimony in Blasted: Kane with Felman"

"...there are good reasons to assume that not everything that occurs on stage happens at the level of a single ´reality´ but that at least some aspects of the civil war raging outside the hotel, and the arrival of the soldier, are in fact phantasms of Ian's memory"

Other chapters cover Osborne, Pinter, Stoppard, Orton, Griffiths, Churchill, Hare and Wertenbaker.


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  The Full Room by Dominic Dromgoole
How the dramatic works of the 1990s have shaped the New British Theatre movement. As well as Sarah Kane playwrights discussed include Billy Roche, Sebastian Barry, Conor MacPherson, David Harrower, Jonathan Harvey, Philip Ridley, Richard Cameron and Naomi Wallace.

Some good writing (five pages) on Kane:
"The only problem with Sarah, in my view, is that I'm not sure she's a natural writer. The
sturm und drang and the savagery; the shitting and the fucking; the deconstruction and the erudition, the whole feast that's on offer tends to distract from the lack of simpler, quieter virtues. Relaxed human dialogue; characterization that is vivid, surprising and true; the creation of worlds both recognizable and new; narrative lines that both support and surprise; a fidelity to life- all these virtues are harder to find in Sarah's work"


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  Jack Tinker, A Life in Review by James Irverne, 1997
A tribute to critic Jack Tinker.  It includes his infamous review of Blasted This disgusting piece of filth:
"...For utterly disgusted I was by a play which appears to know no bounds of decency yet has no message to convey by way of excuse... utterly without artistic merit...".
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  20th Century Drama by Stephen Unwin and Carole Woddis
A general overview of theatre, looking at 50 significant plays.
Blasted is covered (5 pages): "presented as the first in an uncompleted trilogy of plays about war" and " the dust settles, Kane's extraordinary debut begins to take on the shape of a finely crafted modern parable"
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  Changing Stages by Richard Eyre
A television tie-in book on British and American Theatre in the Twentieth Century.
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