Brenman-Gibson, Margaret. Clifford Odets, American Playwright: The Years from 1906-1940. New York: Applause, 2001. This biography of Odets focuses on the earlier part of his career, which many would argue was the better part.
Cantor, Harold. Clifford Odets: Playwright-Poet. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2000. Cantor concentrates on eleven of Odets’s plays, reading closely and identifying common themes. He emphasizes Odets’s poetic style and also notes Odets’s influence on American theater. Includes bibliography and index.
Cooperman, Robert. Clifford Odets: An Annotated Bibliography, 1935-1989. Westport, Conn.: Meckler, 1990. A useful bibliographic essay evaluates the listed entries, which are divided into primary works (plays, screenplays, teleplays, articles, journals, and diaries), critical studies (on individual plays and politics, and on the Group Theatre), and information on the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Includes a brief chronology and an index.
Demastes, William W. Clifford Odets: A Research and Production Sourcebook. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991. The book’s main feature consists of summaries of characters, plots, and overviews of the critical reception of Odets’s stage and radio plays. Includes a brief chronology, a biographical essay, a bibliography of Odets’s primary works (with unpublished archival sources), an annotated secondary bibliography (1935-1990), a list of major productions, and an index.
Demastes, William W, ed. Critical Essays on Clifford Odets. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1991. This anthology includes ten reviews of Odets’s productions (from Waiting for Lefty to The Flowering Peach), two 1930’s evaluations of Odets, and three interviews with Odets, and a collection of essays, most reprinted from earlier books. The introduction provides an evaluative chronological overview of primary and secondary sources.
Miller, Gabriel. Clifford Odets. New York: Continuum, 1989. Critical of the narrow interpretations of Odets as a political playwright of the 1930’s, Miller focuses primarily on the published plays, arranged thematically around several “visions”: Chekhovian, tragic, romantic, melodramatic, and political. The interest centers on both experimentation with form and the evolution of Odets’s “significant thematic and social concerns.” Index.
Miller, Gabriel, ed. Critical Essays on Clifford Odets. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1991. This anthology includes ten reviews of Odets’s productions (from Waiting for Lefty to The Flowering Peach), two 1930’s evaluations of Odets, three interviews with Odets dating from the 1950’s and 1960’s, and a collection of essays, most reprinted from earlier books. The introduction provides an evaluative chronological overview of primary and secondary sources.