Wit, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Vivian Bearing, a specialist in the Sonnets of John Donne, has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer.

Her approach to her illness is not unlike her approach to Donne: probing and rational.

During the course of her illness, she reassesses her life and work with profundity and wry humour.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Nick Hern Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Plays, playscripts
  • ISBN: 9781854594587



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

A wonderful play. I can't say more than that.

Review by

The main character, Vivian, is a professor of English, who has always prided herself on her intellect at the expense of everything else - indeed, she's taken pains to strip away any hint of sentimentality from her character. Now, though, she is in the last stages of an aggressive cancer, and her intellectual armoury is not providing the solace that she needs. One of the remarkable things about the play is that it manages not to be either sentimental or devastatingly sad, mainly through Vivian's personality, which remains prickly and proud - you can't pity her, despite her awful situation. There's a lot packed into the play's 85 pages and I think its impact will grow the more I think about it.

Also by Margaret Edson