Beth Henley 1952–
Henley is a native of Mississippi. Her first play, Crimes of the Heart, has been compared to the works of Eudora Welty for its compassionate portrayal of a bizarre family dealing with the underlying horrors of small-town life. Henley achieves the comic-absurdist mood of Crimes by employing a surface realism typical of more naturalistic works. Atypically, her play was awarded the 1981 Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award although it had not yet been presented on Broadway.