Hailed as a creative genius (TLS) and a singular American visionary (New York Times), James Purdy may be best known for his remarkable novels, but he is also an astonishing playwright who has written nine full-length and twenty short plays. Purdy is one of the few contemporary American writers capable of writing tragedy-Tennessee Williams called him a uniquely gifted man of the theater. This collection presents four riveting and beautifully crafted works: Brice, The Paradise Circus, Where Quentin Goes, and Ruthanna Elder. Each explores a range of emotional and familial tangles, as fathers betray their sons and squander their inheritances, siblings compete for parental affection, and husbands and wives try to salvage meaning from their broken marriages. The plays are written in Purdy's authentic idiom, which Paul Bowles called the closest [we have] to a classical American colloquial.