Chicago‐born dramatist whose work is distinguished by its attentions to the rhythms of blue‐collar speech and the theme of how low‐life criminality mirrors the world of big business. American Buffalo (1975) follows the bungled attempts of three petty crooks to pull off a robbery, while Glengarry Glen Ross (1983) adopts a similar plot to a group of real‐estate salesmen. Often criticized for sexism, his work is unafraid to address crises in gender relations, with plays such as Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1974), which satirizes the vacuity of male sexual bravado, and Oleanna (1992), which dramatized the misunderstandings between a professor and his student in a complex narrative of sexual harassment. Among other plays are The Cryptogram (1995) and Boston Marriage (2001). He has written widely for the cinema (The Postman Always Rings Twice, 1981; The Untouchables, 1983), and has since gone on to direct films of his own. His novels include The Village (1994), a portrayal of hunting which recalls Hemingway, and The Old Religion (1997), a fictional reconstruction of the lynching of a Jewish factory owner falsely accused of the rape and murder of a Southern white girl.