One of the nuances in Disgraced, the 2013 Pulitzer-prize winning play that finishes up a short run at the Alliance Theatre here in Atlanta, is the cameo appearance (photo above) of another Pulitzer Prize winner -- Ernest Becker's nonfiction classic on how humans repress the acknowledgement of their mortality -- The Denial of Death (1973). After the production I found my yellowed, heavily underlined, paperback of Denial. Here's an excerpt from the book, which explains this repression in more detail. Click on the image to enlarge it for easier reading:
In the play, which examines Muslim-American identity issues, the Jewish character Issac pulls out a copy of Denial and refers to a scene from the 1977 film Annie Hall where Woody Allen suggests to Diane Keaton that she read the Becker book instead of her selection - a book about cats.
After some thought I understood the playwright's choice in Denial, as the lead character, the Pakistani-born Amir, does initially deny his Muslim roots, which leads to tragic consequences. But I think that there is more worth investigating.
Thanks to the Alliance for providing the promotional photo for the blog and a reminder about an author I should be re-reading in the near future.