Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780571199976, 96pp.
Publication Date: March 5, 2001
Proof is the winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
One of the most acclaimed plays of the 1999-2000 season, Proof is a work that explores the unknowability of love as much as it does the mysteries of science.
It focuses on Catherine, a young woman who has spent years caring for her father, Robert, a brilliant mathematician in his youth who was later unable to function without her help. His death has brought into her midst both her sister, Claire, who wants to take Catherine back to New York with her, and Hal, a former student of Catherine's father who hopes to find some hint of Robert's genius among his incoherent scribblings. The passion that Hal feels for math both moves and angers Catherine, who, in her exhaustion, is torn between missing her father and resenting the great sacrifices she made for him. For Catherine has inherited at least a part of her father's brilliance -- and perhaps some of his instability as well. As she and Hal become attracted to each other, they push at the edges of each other's knowledge, considering not only the unpredictability of genius but also the human instinct toward love and trust.
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Praise For Proof: A Play…
“Proof . . . a play about scientists whose science matter less than their humanity . . . All four [characters]--whether loving, hating, encouraging or impeding one another--are intensely alive, complex, funny human.” —John Simon, New York
“An exhilarating and assured new play . . . accessible and compelling as a detective story.” —Bruce Weber, The New York Times
“Auburn has taken on some biggies here; what the link may be between genius and mental instability, why it is that lives get stuck, and how elusive the truth can be . . . [Proof's] level of accomplishment and the realness of its characters show that Auburn has both depth and a voice.” —The New Yorker