Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Joseph A. Walker’s reputation rests almost exclusively on his dramatic works, but he has made numerous successful forays into the television and film industries. Primarily a stage dramatist, he expanded his literary horizons during the 1970’s and the 1980’s by regularly contributing essays to The New York Times, including “Broadway’s Vitality” (1973), “The Hiss” (1978), “Black Magnificence” (1980), and “Themes of the Black Struggle” (1982). In 1976, he rewrote his three-act play The River Niger into a screenplay for New Line Cinema. The resulting film, starring Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones, received considerable critical acclaim both at the time and in subsequent years.