David Henry Hwang (1957-) is an American playwright whose best work uses theater to explore the formation of identity. In his earliest plays, this mainly meant racial or ethnic identity, as any writer with an Asian appearance and name emerging in the 1970s atmosphere of “identity politics” (Hwang and the Asian Society) would be seen as “hyphenated” (Gerard). An active proponent of Asian-American theater and a public voice against discrimination, he has sought various ways to turn ethnicity from a limitation to a gateway to the larger human problems of knowing oneself and relating to the world. His plays, while political, ask more questions than the ideology of a given moment can answer. Hwang’s Tony-award winning play

M. Butterfly

, his best known and perhaps most enduring work,…

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Citation: Ross, Deborah. "David Henry Hwang". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 August 2011; last revised 24 July 2015. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12968, accessed 21 June 2024.]

12968 David Henry Hwang 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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