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Exquisite Agony

Exquisite Agony

By Nilo Cruz
Imprint: Theatre Communications Group
Paperback : 9781559369510, 96 pages, February 2020


“Beautifully strange… An opera star with a penchant for dramatic sorrow shows up at a doctor’s office, looking for her husband’s heart. Someone got it when he died—which means that somewhere, inside another person’s rib cage, a piece of her husband lives on… Thus begins a tantalizing correspondence in Nilo Cruz’s Exquisite Agony, a play about the human heart: its fumblings and yearnings, its bruises and scars, its generosity and viciousness.” —Laura Collins-Hughes, New York Times

Exquisite Agony is about a woman who finds life in death, in an atmosphere where poetic insights are the norm and women are the center. Cruz’s feminist view is one of the liberating aspects of his writing, as is a kind of magical realism that is not cloying but true to his characters, and to the fact of dispossession: sometimes we don’t know who we are because we don’t know where life has landed on our bodies, let alone in our hearts.” —Hilton Als, New Yorker


Exquisite Agony is explosive… As in several of Cruz’s previous works, drama ignites from the friction between the banal and the magical."

- Zachary Stewart, TheaterMania

Exquisite Agony entertains and enraptures… There’s rueful humor, Chekhovian reveries, and a sense of the mystical… Ravishing on all levels."

- Darryl Reilly,