Books

Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom

Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom is a collection of two plays that re-imagine historic and mythical events with a queer and feminist spin.

Jordan Tannahill

Award-winning playwright Jordan Tannahill is back with modern-day queer and feminist retellings of two momentous events — one historic, one mythic. Botticelli in the Fire imagines the famed painter Sandro Botticelli as an irrepressible seeker of love and pleasure, caught in sexual and political brinkmanship. In Sunday in Sodom, Lot's wife, Edith, tells of the Biblical destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, but set in the present day. (From Playwrights Canada Press)

Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom won the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for drama.

From the Governor General's Literary Awards jury: "Jordan Tannahill's two-play volume explores the fragility of social consensus in a world made uneasy by the forces of social division. Both plays are poetic, irreverent and funny, offering the pleasure of entertainment while displaying masterful literary ability. Tannahill possesses a powerful artistic voice that reflects where we come from, who we are and who we may become."

Tannahill wrote the poem Bare Witness for the special CBC Books series Borders.

From the book

SANDRO: Listen, I've been around long enough to know:
the elites are all perverts
They have their little games
and if you can play by their rules they'll take care of you
And when the shit goes down, we're going to need their—

CLARICE walks out of the bathroom holding a large white towel.

CLARICE: Sandro, did you steal these towels from the palace?

CLARICE notices LEONARDO and wraps herself up in the towel, suddenly more self-conscious.

SANDRO: Ha, funny you should mention that—

CLARICE: Do you think it's a bit much?
I suddenly had this doubt in the shower about the pose
That maybe it's all a little—

SANDRO: Much

CLARICE: Debauched

SANDRO: Clarice, hi, I'm Botticelli, debauched is what I do
If your husband wanted you in a nun's habit he should have commissioned Fra Filippo

CLARICE: But is it in good taste?
I mean it's just—such a departure

SANDRO: From good taste?

CLARICE: From everything else, you know, out there

SANDRO: Precisely, why should I just add another canvas to the heap
of "everything else out there"?

CLARICE: He doesn't know it's a nude

SANDRO: He must

CLARICE: I don't think so

SANDRO: Just tell him a painter can't ignore inspiration

CLARICE: I think he was hoping to put this in the dining room though

SANDRO: Clarice, enough, you're stressing me out
(to LEONARDO) Put on my Chill Out playlist, will you?


From Botticelli in the Fire by Jordan Tannahill  ©2018. Published by Playwrights Canada Press.

Interviews

The award-winning playwright on his first novel, which he calls “an extended meditation on the body.” 3:18
Coming of Age. Toronto playwright Jordan Tannahill wins this year's Governor General's award for English drama for his three play collection, "Age of Minority," which tells the stories of three young outcasts struggling to deal with their sexuality. 6:30
Celebrated Canadian stage director shares the joys and challenges of a challenging play. 17:21

Other books by Jordan Tannahill

The 2018 Governor General's Literary Award winners

now