August 26, 2005

US playwright Wilson dying of liver cancer – paper

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - August Wilson, an award-winning
playwright who focuses on the lives of African Americans, has
liver cancer and may have only months to live, the Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette said on Friday.

Citing an interview with Wilson from his home in Seattle,
the newspaper said his condition was diagnosed in June. He was
recommended immediate treatment including a liver transplant,
but the disease proved too far advanced to be halted.

"It's not like poker, you can't throw your hand in," the
newspaper quoted Wilson, 60, as saying. "I've lived a blessed
life. I'm ready."

Last winter, "Gem of the Ocean," part of his 10-part cycle
about the African American experience, played to good reviews
on Broadway.

Wilson, a Pittsburgh native, said in the interview he was
pleased to have completed the cycle of plays set in each decade
of the 20th century, depicting the tragedies and aspirations of
African Americans, the Post-Gazette said.

Wilson's plays include "Fences," "Ma Rainey's Black
Bottom," "The Piano Lesson," and "Jitney." His honors include a
Tony Award and two Pulitzer Prizes.