“As I try to come to grips with the lack of control I have in terms of my own visibility and commercial success within the American Theater, I remain convinced that I have control in terms of how I see my identity. How I Learned to Drive gave me that gift. It felt as if the play was rewriting me, and I will always remember the sensation of lightness I had in the middle of the night as I wrote it. This is the gift of theater and of writing: a transubstantiation of pain and secrecy into light, into community, into understanding if not acceptance.” — Paula Vogel, from her Preface
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive is widely recognized as a masterpiece of contemporary drama. It is published here for the first time as a stand-alone edition. Paula Vogel is the author of Indecent, The Baltimore Waltz, The Long Christmas Ride Home, Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq and A Civil War Christmas, among many other plays. She has held a distinguished career as a teacher and mentor to young playwrights, first at Brown University and then at the Yale School of Drama.
"The play is steeped in a gentle lyricism we associate with nostalgic portraits of American youth. The tone, the setting, the characters seem at first so familiar, so, well, normal, that it’s only by degrees that we sense the poison within the pastels. By then we feel both locked into, and complicit with, this portrait of a warping relationship. That’s the art of Drive." ~New York Times
“How I Learned to Drive is a tremendous achievement, genuine and genuinely disturbing…This is, quite simply, the sweetest and most forgiving play ever written about child abuse…Vogel’s delicate tactic makes sense not only as a way to redouble the dramatic effect, but as a representation of reality, a perfect case of the form fitting the subject.” ~Village Voice
"How I Learned to Drive is one of the best plays of the decade." ~USA Today
"With subtle humor and teasing erotic encounters, Vogel addresses the dangerous intersections of teenage temptation. She also paints a richly poetic and picturesque landscape…The play is a potent and convincing comment on a taboo subject, and its impact sneaks up on its audience." ~Variety
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama
- Susan Smith Blackburn Prize