Like Wit and Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Don DeLillo's Love-Lies-Bleeding explores the perilous question of when life ends – or should. It is also a play about a son looking for the father who abandoned him, and it is about the odd emotional tenacity of relationships long-ended, about shared language as the antidote to loss.
Alex Hauser left New York and gave up easel painting to live and create land art in the southwestern desert. Now seventy, he has had his second massive stroke. His young third wife Lia believes that somewhere deep inside his mind is still alive, but Alex’s ex-wife and son, Toinette and Sean, have come to this remote place to help him die.
Scarlet four o’clock, terminal sedation, night blooming cereus, respiratory depression, sacred datura, persistent vegetative state, love-lies-bleeding, life long devotion: the names of desert flowers and the language of death are equally potent and mysterious in this haunting and urgent play.