When Martin Esslin published The Theatre of the Absurd in 1961 he caught the pulse of Western drama as it burst into bold and surprising new forms after the Second World War. Around the Absurd is the first book to examine the history, impact, and legacy of that theater.

In provocative essays by leading critics from both sides of the Atlantic (including Jan Kott, Herbert Blau, Katharine Worth, Theodore Shank, and Benedict Nightingale), this forum carries forward Esslin's seminal work by surveying the theater terrain both before and after that time. Featuring original studies of Maeterlinck, O'Neill, Ionesco, Beckett, Pinter, Fornes, and the international scene of performance art, this timely collection details the key role of the absurd in the transformation from a modern to a postmodern repertory.

Around the Absurd will appeal to scholars, students, and critics of the dramatic arts as well as to the theater-going public