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Faith Healer


Brian Friel

Available in Paperback only


Faith Healer is recognized as one of the masterpieces of Ireland’s greatest living playwright. In the course of four monologues the stories of a travelling healer, his wife, and his manager unfold. Brian Friel weaves their versions of the healer’s ‘performances’ and a terrible event into haunting, magnificent art.


Through their evasions, omissions, and confessions, Frank’s speeches chart the trajectory of his self-destruction . . . The story of his struggle to recapture his spiritual powers becomes, instead, the story of the loss of a soul . . . Frank’s wife, Grace, and his manager, Teddy, are the other witnesses to the healings — and to the price they all pay for his occasional miracles. In Friel’s brilliant storytelling, the refracted memories of the characters paint a harrowing picture of recrimination and self-aggrandizement.

— John Lahr, The New Yorker

The tragedy for the characters in Faith Healer is that while connection among them is elusive, the memory of fleeting contact remains and scalds. That the same might be said of the play’s effect upon us is, more than anything, what makes Faith Healer a major work of art.

— Ben Brantley, The New York Times

Year Published:1991
Reissued: 2017
Details: 56pp
ISBN PBK: 978 1 85235 079 6

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