Inge, William (ĭnj) [key], 1913–73, American playwright, b. Independence, Kans., grad. Univ. of Kansas, 1935. He was a teacher and newspaper critic before he won recognition as a dramatist. Inge's plays portray sympathetically the aspirations and frustrations of small-town life in the Midwest. Come Back, Little Sheba (1950) established his reputation. It was followed by Picnic (1953; Pulitzer Prize), Bus Stop (1955), and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1957). After the unsuccessful production of A Loss of Roses (1959) Inge's reputation as a dramatist declined; he turned to writing novels, notably Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff (1970). He died in 1973, apparently a suicide.
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