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A. R. Gurney (Albert Ramsdell Gurney Jr.) (born November 1, 1930) is an American playwright and novelist. The playwright is known for works including Love Letters, The Cocktail Hour, and The Dining Room. Gurney currently lives in both New York and Connecticut.


Born in Buffalo, New York, Gurney, a graduate of St. Paul's School (Concord, New Hampshire), attended Williams College and the Yale School of Drama, after which he began teaching Humanities at MIT. He began writing plays such as Scenes from American Life, Children, and The Middle Ages while at MIT, but it was his great success with The Dining Room that allowed him to write full-time. Since The Dining Room, Gurney has written a number of plays, most of them concerning WASPs of the American northeast. Gurney also wrote the musical: Love in Buffalo. This was the first musical ever produced at Yale.

Gurney has also written several novels, including:

  • The Snow Ball
  • The Gospel According to Joe
  • Entertaining Strangers ISBN 0-385-12551-8

Gurney has also appeared in several of his plays including The Dining Room and most notably Love Letters.

In 2006, Gurney was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


Many of these plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing Inc. and Smith & Kraus Publishing.

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