Letters from MAX: a book of friendship
by SARAH RUHL & MAX RITVO
“A strange and beautiful volume.”—New Yorker
LISTEN to today's conversation!
“I will read more books in my life but I will not love another book more than this one. I suspect this book has the power to reassure the weary and to instill faith in anyone who needs it. If they let you bring books when you die, I will 100 percent put this one in the tiny stack that goes with me.” —Mary-Louise Parker, author of Dear Mr. You
Written by Sarah Ruhl—playwright, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tony Award nominee, recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize AND currently on the faculty of the Yale School of Drama, Letters from Max is a deeply moving portrait of a friendship, and a shimmering exploration of love, art, mortality, and the afterlife.
About Sarah Ruhl
Her plays include Stage Kiss, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tony Award nominee for best new play), The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize Finalist, 2005; The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2004); Passion Play, (Pen American award, The Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center); Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Helen Hayes award); Melancholy Play (a musical with Todd Almond); Eurydice; Orlando, Demeter in the City (NAACP nomination), Late: a cowboy song, Three Sisters, Dear Elizabeth, The Oldest Boy and most recently, and For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday and How To Transcend a Happy Marriage. Her plays have been produced on Broadway at the Lyceum by Lincoln Center Theater, Off-Broadway at Playwrights’ Horizons, Second Stage, and at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater. Her plays have been produced regionally all over the country, with premieres often at Yale Repertory Theater, the Goodman Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theater, and the Piven Theatre Workshop in Chicago. Her plays have also been produced internationally and have been translated into over twelve languages.
Originally from Chicago, Ms. Ruhl received her M.F.A. from Brown University where she studied with Paula Vogel. An alum of 13P and of New Dramatists, she won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006 and most recently, the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award.. She was the recipient of the PEN Center Award for a mid-career playwright, the Whiting Writers award, the Feminist Press’ Forty under Forty award, and a Lilly Award. She proudly served on the executive council of the Dramatist’s Guild for three years, and she is currently on the faculty at Yale School of Drama. Her book of essays on the theater and motherhood, 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write, was a Times Notable Book of the Year. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.
Read more about Sarah Ruhl in The New Yorker "Surreal Life" by John Lahr.
Read an interview with Sarah Ruhl by Paula Vogel of Bomb Magazine.
A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights: Sarah Ruhl by Todd London.