“It was Franz Kafka who wrote that “a book must be the ax for the frozen sea in us.” And in the more than 40 plays that Sam Shepard has written since 1964, this American playwright has been breaking open that frozen sea with an originality of vision, a jolting intermingling of humor and grief, a profound examination of the hopes and failures of the American family and an astonishing ear for the cadences of the American idiom.”