Williams, Tennessee (1911-1983)

Tennessee Williams, 1911-1983 was born in Mississippi and reared there and in St. Louis.  His career began with American Blues (1939 - published 1945) and he first achieved success with The Glass Menagerie (1944).  In the introduction in The Cambridge Companion to Tennessee Williams, Matthew Roundane writes that Williams was the American playwright that animated the middle years of the twentieth century. (Roudane, p.1)  He also writes Williams emerged as the poet of the heart.  He took quite seriously Yeats' epigraph: "Be secret and exult".

He said he knew he wanted to become a playwright when he saw Ibsen's Ghosts, and many of his great strengths as a writer are Ibsen's. He was the author of some seventy plays that were both varied and complex; with particular sympathy and insight into his female characters.

"Don't you just love these long, rainy afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn't just an hour - but a little piece of eternity dropped into your hands - and who knows what to do with it?"

Blanche, In A Streetcar Named Desire.

Roudane, Matthew C, editor. The Cambridge Companion to Tennessee WilliamsCambridge University Press, 1997, p. 1.

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The Glass menagerieA Streetcar named Desire with commentary and notes by Patricia Hearn and Michael HooperSweet Bird of youth in Penguin Plays with A Streetcar named Desire and The Glass Menagerie

For other editions and material on the playwright, you can search by keyword for Tennessee Williams

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