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Ask The Puma Research Guides: The Piano Lesson

Quick start research guides to hundreds of assignments given at Valencia East Campus.


The Piano Lesson


The Piano Lesson, published in 1987, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning play written by August Wilson.  Set in the 1930’s in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the work revolves around different members of an African-American family.  They own an old piano that has been with their family for a long time.  The brother wants to sell the piano.  The sister wants to keep it, as it represents family history. 


Call Number for Browsing the Shelves


  • PS3573 .I45677



Circulating Books – A Selected List


  • Bogumil, Mary. Understanding August Wilson. 1999.

                          Call Number:  PS3573 .I45677 Z58 1999

  • Nadel, Alan (Ed.). May All Your Fences Have Gates. 1994.

                          Call Number:  PS3573 .I45677 Z78 1994

  • Pereira, Kim. August Wilson and the African-American Odyssey. 1995.

                           Call Number:  PS3573 .I45677 Z83 1995

  • Shannon, Sandra. The Dramatic Vision of August Wilson. 1995.

                           Call Number:  PS3573 .I45677 Z88 1995

  • Wang, Qun. An In-Depth Study of the Major Plays of African-American Playwright August Wilson. 1999.

                            Call Number:  PS3573 .I45677 Z95 1999

  • Wilson, August. The Piano Lesson (Videorecording). 2006.

                           Call Number:  Audio-Visual DVD PN1997 .P4745 H3 2006

  • Wolfe, Peter. August Wilson. 1999.

                            Call Number:  PS3573 .I45677 Z96 1999


LINCCWeb online catalog – Search Terms

  • Piano Lesson (Keyword)
  • Wilson, August (Keyword)


Reference Materials

  • Black Literature Criticism Call Number:  REF PS153 .N5 B556

o   Vol. 3, pgs. 1969-1973

  • Critical Survey of Drama Call Number:  REF PN1625 .C68 2003

o   Vol. 7, pgs. 3647-3648

  • Drama Criticism Call Number:  REF PN1625 .D72

o   Vol. 2, pgs. 473-476

  • Contemporary Literary CriticismCall Number: REF PN771 .C59

o   Vol. 63, pgs. 452-458

o   Vol. 118, pgs. 375-388, 401-412

o   Vol. 222, pgs. 279-379 

  • Drama for StudentsCall Number: REF PN1601 .D595

o   Vol. 7, pgs. 243-262

  • Masterplots II, African-American Literature Series, Revised EditionCall Number: REF PS153 .N5 M2645 2009

o   Vol. 3, pgs. 1293-1297


Research Databases

To access Valencia’s research databases, open your Atlas account, select ‘Search the Library’, then select ‘Databases A-Z’.

Films on Demand - Database 

  • "The Piano Lesson" (SEGMENT)
    • From Title: August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand
    • DECRIPTION: See clips from the television adaptation of the play and hear a description of the play. Dutton recalls learning Wilson wrote the play for him. Distributed by PBS Distribution.
  • Reality in August Wilson's Plays (SEGMENT) 
    • From Title: August Wilson
    • DESCRIPTION: Joe Turner's Come and Gone" is a rediscovery and celebration of self. Wilson believes the 1915 migration of blacks from the South failed. "The Piano Lesson" symbolizes black suffering.
  • Influences on August Wilson's Plays (SEGMENT) 
    • From Title: August Wilson
    • DESCRIPTION: The blues is one of the “B’s” that influences Wilson’s plays. Music is the bedrock of his plays. The oral tradition also helps sustain the black culture. Wilson argues against assimilation.


This Research Guide is designed to help users find information on a particular topic within the Valencia College East Campus Library.  This is by no means a comprehensive list of resources and other resources may be available on this topic.  Please check the LINCCWeb, Valencia East’s online catalog, to verify the availability of circulating books within the library.  Feel free to ask a librarian for help if you need further assistance.

Subject Guide

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