August Wilson Biography | Author of Joe Turner's Come and Gone

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Wilson was born as Frederick August Kittel on April 27, 1945, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Wilson's white German father largely deserted the family shortly after the playwright was born, and Wilson's mother, Daisy Wilson Kittel, was forced to support her large family by working a number of cleaning jobs. Daisy married David Bedford, an African-American man, when Wilson was an adolescent. Bedford moved the family to a mostly white suburb, where they experienced extreme racial intimidation. Although Daisy encouraged the playwright and his five siblings to pursue an education, the racist treatment he received in the formal school system encouraged Wilson to drop out as a teenager. Instead, Wilson educated himself in his local library, focusing mainly on black writers.

In 1965, at the age of twenty, Wilson moved into a rooming house with a group of black intellectuals, and began publishing his poetry in several small periodicals. Wilson was...

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This section contains 409 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Joe Turner's Come and Gone Study Guide
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Joe Turner's Come and Gone from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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