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Raisin in the Sun, A

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  51,634 Ratings  ·  2,120 Reviews
When it was first produced in 1959, A Raisin in the Sun was awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for that season and hailed as a watershed in American drama. A pioneering work by an African-American playwright, the play was a radically new representation of black life.
Audio, Abridged, 0 pages
Published March 5th 1991 by Caedmon (first published 1959)
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Brina
In 1959, 29 year old Lorraine Hansberry wrote A Raisin in the Sun, which went on to become "one of a handful of great American plays." Five years later she would succumb to cancer but not before Raisin penetrated the upper echelon of American plays. What is remarkable about Hansberry's rise to stardom is that she was virtually unknown and African American at a time when African Americans were just starting to make gains in society. And yet Raisin made to Broadway and television, cementing its pl ...more
Fabian
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
May just possibly be my all time favorite American play*. The circuit is so taut, the story is so heartbreaking, life-altering and thought-provoking--I cannot wait to ever catch it live.

At 29, Hansberry orchestrated something even Arthur Miller & Tennessee Williams wanted--a TRUE portrait of the American Family, how the roles are intertwined and dependent upon the others. The maestros don't come as close as she, I am inclined to think...

*Well... a more modern work, "Angels in America" makes
...more
Carol
First published in 1959, this play tells the story of a poor African-American family ruled by "mama" who has big plans to make a better life for her family, but must wait for "the check" and overcome a few obstacles along the way. (like her bitter and self-absorbed son Walter)

Set in a small rundown roach-infested apartment on Chicago's south side, A RAISIN IN THE SUN brings to light issues of racism and segregation, but also family pride and forgiveness.

Another surprisingly good play!

Diane
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
What an outstanding play!

Recently I saw an excellent production of A Raisin in the Sun, and it was so good I decided to reread the play. I first read this in college during a course on African American Theater, and as part of the class we watched the 1961 film, starring Sidney Poitier in the role he debuted on Broadway in 1959.

The film is great, but this was my first time seeing the play performed live, and it was incredibly moving. The story follows the Youngers, a black family in Chicago's So
...more
Joel
Feb 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

I decided to assign this to my Honors American Lit class before I had even read it myself. I'm so glad I did! I really enjoyed the characters. And while students get a kick out of lines like "Why you always wear them faggoty white shoes?" it also deals with som
...more
Huda Aweys
عن الظروف الاجتماعية للسود .. مشاكلهم و حياتهم في امريكا ..، مسرحية رائعة ادخلتنى الى عالمهم ..
و جعلتني اعايش آلامهم .. آمالهم .. طموحاتهم ..، كاتبة مرهفه و موهوبة فعلا انها تقدر توّصل كل دا ، و مترجمة موهوبة كمان و امينة على ما اتذكر :) ، لأنى قرأت الكتاب دا زمان من فترة طويلة الحقيقة
booklady
Hansberry's death from cancer at 34 just six years after the publication and first production of Raisin in the Sun was a real loss to both the literary and dramatic worlds. Not everyone likes to read plays; I enjoy them. This one is exceptional. The characters are well-defined, real, memorable; the interaction among them vibrant, interesting, at times gut-wrenching, never dull. Raisin is a snapshot of black urban life on the eve of the sixties, just before the civil rights movement. And yet, we ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
There are more than a few established classics that I had never heard of until I did my teaching degree here in Canada. Since everyone else had come through the Canadian school system, they were very knowing about "The Lottery", Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird and A Raisin in the Sun. These established American classics got blank looks from me. Well, not so much Mockingbird; I'd heard of that one a couple of years before, and the name was familiar to me from before moving here.

But I'd
...more
Bettie☯


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06yp4cz

Description: This ground-breaking play, set on Chicago's South Side in the 1950's, revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of an Afro-American working-class family. A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway. In this new production for radio, rarely produced scenes from the original play, which were cut from the original film and stage and subsequent contemporary stage prod
...more
Anabel (inthebookcorner)
loved it. I really want to go see this play at the Harlem theatre.
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
Weathervane Playhouse is putting on a production of this incredible show just down the street from my house, opening this weekend, and I'm running the sound board for a few shows. I went to my first (and perhaps only -- eek!) rehearsal last night and homg. I was excited because hello, this is a classic, but I was NOT expecting to be so enveloped in the story while half my brain was concentrating on learning sound cues. It's really a testament to Ms Hansberry's incredible dialogue, because 95% of ...more
Sophia
so good!!!
Conner Zimmermann
Oct 31, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly think this was a very bad choice by Ms. E. I cannot think of a single person in our bell that was actually interested in this. This book might have even made me a little more stupid. This is by far the worst book I have read this year. The characters were imbeciles, just because they get some money doesn't mean that they go and spend it all on a house right away. This book was horrific, making me want to tear my eyes out of my head so that I would not have to continue to read this was ...more
Jennifer Lynn Harrison
SO MUCH BETTER THAN I EVEN REMEMBERED! I feel like I have gone from feeling 'meh' about this title to completely falling in love with it during this re-read. What has happened to make me change my opinion so greatly?...Perhaps the fact is that I am now older and thus, better able to appreciate/absorb/understand this play more so than I did whilst reading it over a decade ago. OR, perhaps the difference in my opinion lays in the fact that this time, I *chose* to (re)read this title, instead of *h ...more
Thomas
A Raisin in the Sun details the story of a working-class family struggling to make ends meet. The Youngers are then faced with a difficult decision that brings their colored heritage and the lives of their ancestors to the forefront.

Although this book and Death of a Salesman have some similar themes, what makes A Raisin in the Sun much better is its dynamic dialogue and the conflicting desires of its characters. While not perfectly three-dimensional, each family member in the story had an idea o
...more
Laura
Jan 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bettie
From BBC Radio 3 - Drama on 3:
This ground-breaking play, set on Chicago's South Side in the 1950's, revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of an Afro-American working-class family. A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway. In this new production for radio, rarely produced scenes from the original play, which were cut from the original film and stage and subsequent contemporary stage productions, have been rein
...more
Jeffrey
Jun 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun is very deservedly considered a timeless classic. Unlike many other works from around the same era, Hansberry provokes and moves her audience without writing of complete devastation. To explain how her style and choices are different than her contemporaries, is to give away the ending. The denouement of A Raisin in the Sun is like no other of its genre. This is what makes it a classic. It is timeless because of Hansberry's presentation of the familial in ...more
Rowena
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rowena by: Zada
This was a quick read and I loved every page! I'm interested in watching the original version of the play with Sidney Poitier, looks good!
 Imani ♥ ☮
Wow. We just finished reading this, me and my class. As a whole I don't think we really got it but I did. This book was awesome and I'm glad people appreciated it enough to make two movies out of it. Truly an amazing book. And even though I've read it a couple times now, I think I'll read it again someday! :)

~~~~~~

Reading this anew for a college seminar. I love the wit that I never really noticed Hansberry wrote into these characters. But more than even this, is the complexity of everyone -from
...more
Laura Harrison
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolute favorite. Captivating with so much heart. Hansberry was a genius.
Shanae
May 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great play. Great film. Everyone should read it...you can't say you truly love literature if you haven't read this one.
Ivonne Rovira
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-read this play after too many decades to remember. Still as powerful as ever. I'll be teaching it starting next week. My students are in for a treat!
Kyla Harris
Fun book to read in English, sad and Walter drove me NUTS but all and all really good! I want to see this play so bad now.
Leslie
3.5*

While some aspects of this play are dated (it was written and first performed in the 1950s), the characters and their relationships still ring true. I have seen the film version with Sidney Poitier a few times and this is one play where the movie is better than the text. I did find the stage directions describing the setting informative and I am glad that I read this but I do feel that I didn't gain much by reading it after having seen the film. That is often the case with plays which are of
...more
sydney
Jul 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who live in cities, teachers, everyone
This is a great play. Part of the reason I loved it is because I saw some former students act out scenes from it last month, and they were amazing. But! One of the reasons they were able to be so amazing is because this is a great play. It touches on common themes-- the American dream, generation gaps, family, race relations, identity. Hansberry gets dialogue just right. Her characters are strong and relatable. It's funny and moving at the same time and still makes sense fifty years after it was ...more
Roderick Vincent
I've read quite a few plays this year, and "A Raisin in the Sun" was one of the best on-the-page plays I've come across. Excellent conflicts and emotional twists. While sometimes a bit melodramatic, it didn't take away from the moving story. I can't wait to see it staged.
Hadrian
Not 'read', exactly, but I saw the 1961 movie version with Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee. It's great stuff.
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting story that was actually, surprisingly enjoyable.
D.B. Woodling
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All audiences
Extraordinary play! A review is in the works.
Dusty
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
I have put off reviewing A Raisin in the Sun for a couple of days, wondering what I could possibly add to the conversation. Without a doubt, it is a classic. Without a doubt, I should not have waited until my early 30s to read it. But of course, it isn't enough to write just that.

So I will start with a summary. The play takes place in Chicago "sometime between the end of World War II and the present moment," which probably means the mid-1950s, when Hansberry, not yet thirty herself, was writing
...more
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3732
Lorraine Vivian Hansberry was an American playwright and writer. Hansberry inspired Nina Simone's song "To Be Young, Gifted and Black".

She was the first black woman to write a play performed on Broadway. Her best known work, the play "A Raisin in the Sun," highlights the lives of Black Americans living under racial segregation in Chicago. Hansberry's family had struggled against segregation, chall
...more
More about Lorraine Hansberry...
“Beneatha: Love him? There is nothing left to love.

Mama: There is always something left to love. And if you ain't learned that, you ain't learned nothing. (Looking at her) Have you cried for that boy today? I don't mean for yourself and for the family 'cause we lost the money. I mean for him: what he been through and what it done to him. Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain't through learning - because that ain't the time at all. It's when he's at his lowest and can't believe in hisself 'cause the world done whipped him so! when you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.”
155 likes
“Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain't through learning-because that ain't the time at all...when you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.” 44 likes
More quotes…