Sam Sacks writes the Fiction Chronicle for the Wall Street Journal and is a founding editor at Open Letters Monthly.
After the 1924 premiere of Juno and the Paycock at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, Sean O’Casey thanked Lady Gregory, who with William Butler Yeats served as the legendary theater’s artistic director. “You gave me encouragement,” he told her. “And it was you who said to me…‘Mr. O’Casey, your gift is characterization.’ And so I threw over my theories and worked at characters, and this is the result.”
On the NYRgallery, Sam Sacks writes, "Through a series of classic narrative reversals—a vanished inheritance, an abandoned fiancée, an act of political vengeance—what starts as a rollicking lowbrow comedy becomes a bitter, deeply moving tragedy."