March 17

This Day in History

Literary

Mar 17, 1894:

Novelist and playwright Paul Green is born

Paul Green, future winner of the 1927 Pulitzer Prize for his play In Abraham's Bosom, is born. Although Green was white, his work examined the problems of blacks in the South, based on his observations of his native state, North Carolina.

Born in 1894, Green studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began writing plays for the theater group Carolina Playmakers in 1919, drawing on Southern folklore for his themes. During the Depression, his work took on a tone of social protest and included plays like Hymn to the Rising Sun (1936), about a chain gang. In 1941, he worked with novelist Richard Wright to dramatize Wright's book Native Son. Interested in the interplay of words and music, he wrote a series of symphonic dramas, including The Stephen Foster Story (1959) and The Lone Star (1977). He died in Chapel Hill in 1981.

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