In 1993 the playwright and essayist Tony Kushner was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for drama, a New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best New Play, and a Tony Award for Best Play in recognition of what is still his best-known work: Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes (1992), a seven-hour drama in two parts. The play was inspired by his two favorite American writers, Herman Melville and Walt Whitman, and the European dramatist with whom he feels the closest affinity, Bertolt Brecht. Kushner created in this play a large canvas to explore the human condition and national issues, including topics like hypocrisy and approaches to the AIDS crisis, marginalization and power, loyalty and love, anxiety and depression, courage and the escape into fantasies. He presented these issues and themes in often lyrical language and through an innovative blend of theatrical techniques: the juxtaposition of reality and fantasy or past and present, the use of split scenes, the combination of the comic and the tragic. These features are trademarks of Tony Kushner's art, and the tremendous success of Angels in America has secured him a position as one of the foremost American playwrights at the turn of the twenty-first centuryLess
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