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Susan DeLappe's The Wolves - A Reading List

As part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival, D.C.'s own Studio Theater is presenting The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe. With an ear for the bravado and empathy of the teenage years, The Wolves explores the violence and teamwork of sports and adolescence, following a pack of 16-year-old girls who turn into warriors on the field. Studio-commissioned writer Sarah DeLappe shared the library titles, fiction and non-fiction, that have inspired her work and reflect the themes and content of the play.

Tell Me How it Ends by Valeria Luiselli
One of the distinctive elements of The Wolves is the rapid-fire banter and cross-talk of its elite girls' soccer team. While the young women discuss day-to-day details of their suburban lives, they also discuss matters of global importance like immigration and genocide. Luiselli's Tell Me How it Ends is an extended essay on her volunteer work translating for child immigrants confronts with compassion and honesty the problem of the North American refugee crisis. The book is one of the resources that DeLappe used to inform her characters' discussions about global migration.

A Problem from Hell by Samantha Powers
A Problem from Hell is another title that DeLappe used to craft her characters' discussions. Powers's book is crafted from interviews with policymakers, analysis of documents and reporting from the killing fields. The book forces readers to grapple with the U.S.'s part in the global problem of genocide.

The Waves by Virginia Woolf
According to DeLappe, The Waves and The Wolves are both composed of "distinct characters that together form a glorious chorus" with Woolf's iconic book representing "the ultimate choral protagonist." The Waves is one of Woolf's most experimental novels and presents six characters in monologue against a background of the sea. The result is a glorious chorus of voices that exists not to remark on the passing of events but to celebrate the connection between its various individual parts.

Tenth of December by George Saunders:
DeLappe was reading Saunders's short story collection Tenth of December while she was writing The Wolves. She cites "the generous attention paid to the secret tragedies, small victories and flagrant hypocrisies of the suburbs, told in the pitch-perfect voice of his everyday heroes" as an influence.