Mr. Universe and Other PlayseBook - 1998
George Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Playwright; Bryan Prize for Drama by the Fellowship of Southern Writers. In this collection, critically acclaimed novelist Jim Grimsley reveals his great gifts as a playwright in four powerful, award-winning plays presenting different worlds in collision and convergence. In "Mr. Universe," the rescue of a mute bodybuilder from the gritty streets of New Orleans by a couple of drag queens brings out the best and worst in them. In "The Lizard of Tarsus," an imprisoned Jesus (called J.) is interrogated by an ambitious follower, Paul of Tarsus. In "The Borderland," neighboring families representing two very different social classes are brought together during a storm. And in "Math and Aftermath," the two worlds of pornography and nuclear testing collide during a film shoot in the Marshall Islands. These plays (introduced by Romulus Linney, Reynolds Price, Kaye Gibbons, and Craig Lucas) demonstrate the differences that are matters of perception; together they establish Grimsley as a dramatist with imagination and nerve.