‘John Lahr treats his subject with clarity and charity. His cogent analyses are revelatory but not surgical, and his sympathy never cloys. He does what a good literary biographer must do: He does not reduce the work to the life, but shows how it explains the life from which it emerges. He is an investigative reporter, a profiler of personality, mind and character, and a critic who understands drama on the page and in the house.’
– Wall Street Journal

‘New Yorker critic John Lahr shines in this searching account of the playwright Arthur Miller….It’s a great introduction to a giant of American letters.’
Publisher’s Weekly

‘In this succinct and gorgeously written portrait, the former New Yorker critic and award-winning biographer of Tennessee Williams offers a keen psychological appraisal of Miller’s work, and Miller himself.’
– Boston Globe

‘No one writes about playwrights and the theater the way John Lahr does. In this probing, brilliantly insightful, and also deeply readable and entertaining book, he offers unique insight into how Miller’s mind works, and how the details of his biography impacted his body of work.’
– Sarah Ruhl, MacArthur Prizewinning playwright

‘In “Arthur Miller”, the great critic and biographer John Lahr has found a perfect subject: complex, gifted, a man of his times. This is biography-as-collaboration, and utterly captivating.’
– Hilton Als, Pulitzer Prize–winning essayist and author

‘Lahr lets us see the great American playwright with new eyes.  No one writes more perceptively about the twentieth century theater than John Lahr.  After his highly acclaimed Tennessee Williams biography, Lahr scores a second smash hit with “Arthur Miller”.’
– John Guare, author of Six Degrees of Separation; The House of Blue Leaves.

‘A superbly written, impeccably researched biography from the great John Lahr. The close relationship between  Miller and his plays is detailed and sympathetic. A classic book about a classic American playwright.’
– André Bishop, Artistic Director, Lincoln Center Theater


W. W. Norton & Company (US)
Bloomsbury (UK)

Joy Ride throws open the stage door and introduces readers to such makers of contemporary drama as Arthur Miller, Tony Kushner, Wallace Shawn, Harold Pinter, David Rabe, David Mamet, Mike Nichols, and August Wilson. Lahr takes us to the cabin in the woods that Arthur Miller built in order to write Death of a Salesman; we walk with August Wilson through the Pittsburgh ghetto where we encounter the inspiration for his great cycle; we sit with Ingmar Bergman at the Kunglinga Theatre in Stockholm, where he attended his first play; we visit with Harold Pinter at his London home and learn the source of the feisty David Mamet’s legendary ear for dialogue.

joy ride“Lahr creates a book worthy of its title: It is a living celebration of theatre itself”
New York Times

“Of lasting value…Lahr patiently mines the essence of his subjects—playwrights, directors—witg affection of a fan, the insight of a confidant and the authorial flair of an experienced critic…a delight to read.”
The Economist

“100 years from now this is where people will look to see what it was like back then. Bravo!”
John Guare, Six Degrees of Separation, The House of Blue Leaves

“John Lahr writes—beautifully—about the theatre and those who make it with an unrivalled blend of enthusiasm, perception, and analytic precision.  This book is justly titled—his joy is irresistible.“
Nick Hytner

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John Lahr’s Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, a biography of Tennessee Williams, follows Lahr’s other ground-breaking theatre biographies to give intimate access to the mind of one of the greatest American playwrights of the twentieth century.

‘A splendid book, one of the finest critical biographies of a playwright extant.’
Robert Brustein, Drama critic, The New Republic

Read more about the book here.