Dan Kois discusses his book The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America

Sun 4/15, 3pm:
Dan Kois discusses his book The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America

Dan Kois will discuss his oral history of Tony Kushner's Angels in America in conversation with Flyleaf's own Erica Eisdorfer! This event will also feature a staged reading of a chapter from the book, featuring an all-star cast of Chapel Hill writers and performers including Vivienne Benesch, Julia Gibson, Randall Kenan, Angus MacLachlan, and Byron Woods.

About The World Only Spins Forward:

The oral history of Angels in America, told by its creators and the audiences forever changed by it—a moving account of the AIDS era, vital queer history, and an exuberant backstage tale.

When Tony Kushner’s Angels in America hit Broadway in 1993, it won the Pulitzer Prize, swept the Tonys, and changed the way gay lives were represented in popular culture. Mike Nichols’s 2003 HBO adaptation with Meryl Streep and Al Pacino was itself a tour de force, winning 11 Emmys and introducing the play to an even wider public. This generation-defining classic continues to astonish and inspire viewers worldwide.

Now, on the 25th anniversary of that Broadway premiere, Isaac Butler and Dan Kois offer the definitive account of Angels in America in the most fitting way possible: through oral history, nearly 200 voices in vibrant conversation and debate. The intimate storytelling of actors (including Streep, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jeffrey Wright), directors, producers, and Kushner himself reveals the turmoil of the play’s birth—a hard-won miracle in the face of artistic roadblocks, technical disasters, and disputes both legal and creative. And historians and critics help situate the play in the arc of American culture, from the staunch activism of the AIDS crisis through civil rights triumphs to our current era, whose politics are a dark echo of the Reagan ’80s. The World Only Spins Forward is both a rollicking theater saga and an uplifting testament to one of the great works of art of the past century, from its gritty San Francisco premiere to the starry revival that electrified London in 2017.

Dan Kois is an editor and writer for Slate, where he launched the Slate Book Review, and a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine. He is a frequent guest on Slate’s Culture Gabfest.


Event date: 
Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 3:00pm
Event address: 
752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
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The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America By Isaac Butler, Dan Kois Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635571769
Availability: Usually Available in 5-9 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - February 13th, 2018