"While I have, over the years, read many collections of letters by famous writers, few have moved me as much as those by Tennessee Williams. There is no artifice to these letters, no calculation, no awareness of posterity looking over the shoulder. What there is, instead, is a revelation of the author's creative process, an unedited outpouring of Williams' mind and heart and--perhaps most wonderfully!--the sound of his voice, for he wrote these letters as he spoke, and his inflections, his intonations, are there in full. You cannot read these letters without hearing Tennessee speaking them."--Edward Albee Volume I of "The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams" ends with the surprise Broadway triumph of "The Glass Menagerie" in 1945. Volume II extends the correspondence from 1945 to 1957, a time of intense creativity for Williams, which saw the production of six major plays and several major film projects, especially the notorious "Baby Doll," which brought Williams and his main collaborator Elia Kazan into conflict with powerful agencies of censorship, revealing Williams' studied resistance to the forces of conformity. Letters written to Kazan, Carson McCullers, Gore Vidal, publisher James Laughlin, and Audrey Wood, Williams' resourceful agent, continue earlier lines of correspondence and introduce new celebrity figures. His Broadway and Hollywood successes vie with a string of personal losses and a deepening depression, making this period an emotional and artistic roller coaster. Through it all, his wit, aplomb, mischievousness, and wickedly keen eye for human idiosyncrasies make it clear why Gore Vidal, upon reading the letters, declared Williams "the most distinctive, humorous, American voice since Mark Twain."
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Winner of the Morton N. Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters, Modern Language Association, 2001. When first published in 2000, Volume I of The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams was hailed as "indispensable" (Choice), "a carefully researched, fully documented study," (Buffalo News) and "a model edition of a significant set of letters by one of America's leading writers" (MLA citation for the Morton N. Cohen Award). This volume will help a widening circle of the great American playwright's readers appreciate that he was also "a prodigy of the letter" (Allan Jalon, San Francisco Chronicle) and that "his letters are among the century's finest" (John Lahr, The New Yorker). Tennessee Williams wrote to family, friends, and fellow artists with equal measures of piety, wit, and astute self-knowledge. Presented with a running commentary to separate Williams's often hilarious, but sometimes devious, counter-reality from truth, the letters form a virtual autobiography of the great American dramatist. Volume I of The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams: 1920-1945 includes 330 letters written to nearly seventy correspondents and chosen from a group of 900 letters collected by two leading Williams scholars: Albert J. Devlin, professor of English at the University of Missouri, and Nancy M. Tischler, Professor Emerita of English at Pennsylvania State University.
Presents a collection of critical essays on Williams and his works, arranged in chronological order of publication.
Tennessee Williams' plays are performed around the world, and are staples of the standard American repertory. His famous portrayals of women engage feminist critics, and as America's leading gay playwright from the repressive postwar period, through Stonewall, to the growth of gay liberation, he represents an important and controversial figure for queer theorists. Gross and his contributors have included all of his plays, a chronology, introduction and bibliography.
Now available as a paperbook, Volume VIII adds to the series' four full-length plays written and produced during the last decade of Williams' life.
Tennessee Williams' witty, engaging, and elegant essays are now available in a revised and much expanded edition.
For the "old crocodile," as Williams called himself late in life, the past was always present, and so it is with his continual shifting and intermingling of times, places, and memories as he weaves this story.
Perfect for students of English Literature, Theatre Studies and American Studies at college and university, The Theatre of Tennessee Williams provides a lucid and stimulating analysis of Willams' dramatic work by one of America's leading scholars. With the centennial of his birth celebrated amid a flurry of conferences devoted to his work in 2011, and his plays a central part of any literature and drama curriculum and uibiquitous in theatre repertoires, he remains a giant of twentieth century literature and drama. In Brenda Murphy's major study of his work she examines his life and career and provides an analysis of more than a score of his key plays, including in-depth studies of major works such as A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and others. She traces the artist figure who features in many of Williams' plays to broaden the discussion beyond the normal reference points. As with other volumes in Methuen Drama's Critical Companions series, this book features too essays by Bruce McConachie, John S. Bak, Felicia Hardison LondrÃ© and Annette Saddik, offering perspectives on different aspects of Williams' work that will assist students in their own critical thinking.
THE STORY: As described in the NY Times: Mr. Williams is telling the story of two marriages at points of acute crisis. One couple has just broken up after five years together. The other has not been able to come to terms in one day of wedlock. Bot
Fugitive Kind, one of Tennessee Williams's earliest plays, is one of his richest in dramatic material. Written in 1937 when the playwright was still Thomas Lanier Williams, Fugitive Kind introduces the character who will inhabit most of his later plays: the marginal man or woman who, through no personal fault, is a misfit in society but who demonstrates an admirable will to survive. Signature Tennessee Williams' characters, situations, and even the title (which was used as The Fugitive Kind for the 1960 film based on Orpheus Descending) have their genesis here. At age twenty-six, Williams was still learning his craft and this, his second full-length play, shows his debt to sources as diverse as thirties gangster films (The Petrified Forest, Winterset) and Romeo and Juliet. Fugitive Kind, with its star-crossed lovers and big city slum setting, takes place in a flophouse on the St. Louis waterfront in the shadow of Eads Bridge, where Williams spent Saturdays away from his shoe factory job and met his characters: jobless wayfarers on the dole, young writers and artists of the WPA, even gangsters and G-men. Fugitive Kind was also Williams's second play to be produced by The Mummers, a St. Louis theatre group devoted to drama of social protest. Called "vital and absorbing" by a contemporary review in The St. Louis Star-Times, this play reveals the young playwright's own struggle between his radical-socialist sympathies and his poetic inclinations, and signals his future reputation as our most compassionate lyric dramatist.