The Voysey Inheritance
By David Mamet
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780307275196, 128pp.)
Publication Date: October 25, 2005
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One hundred years after the first publication of The Voysey Inheritance, David Mamet resurrects Harley Granville-Barker’s classic investigation into the capitalist soul in this brilliant adaptation.
For generations, the Voysey family business has been secretly skimming money from its clients’ accounts. When Edward, designated to take over the firm from his aging father, discovers the embezzlement that has been keeping his relatives in a life of luxury, he must weigh the trappings of wealth and the imperative to preserve his family’s good name against the better principles of his conscience. But moral righteousness turns to self-protection when he comes to understand fully the consequences of his “inheritance.”
David Mamet was born in Chicago in 1947. He studied at Goddard College in Vermont and at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater in New York. He has taught at Goddard College, the Yale School of Drama, and New York University, and lectures at the Atlantic Theater Company, of which he is a founding member. He is the author of the plays The Cryptogram, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow, Glengarry Glen Ross, American Buffalo, and Sexual Perversity in Chicago. He has also written screenplays for such films as House of Games and the Oscar-nominated The Verdict, as well as The Spanish Prisoner, The Winslow Boy, and Wag the Dog. His plays have won the Pulitzer Prize and the Obie Award.
“Scintillating. . . . The script resonates with [Granville-Barker’s] literate wit and Mamet’s sharp, spare dynamism.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“As powerful an exploration of commercial misconduct as Mamet’s own hardheaded business-themed dramas Glengarry Glen Ross and American Buffalo. . . . It’s difficult to imagine a work more presciently engaged with the ethics of transgression and repayment.” –SF Weekly
“A wonderful ride. . . . Bristles with relevance to contemporary business ethics and morality.”
–Contra Costa Times