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Author photo. Tennessee Williams. UH Photographs Collection.

Tennessee Williams. UH Photographs Collection.

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After O'Neill, Williams is perhaps the best dramatist the United States has yet produced. Born in his grandfather's rectory in Columbus, Mississippi, Williams and his family later moved to St. Louis. There Williams endured many bad years caused by the abuse of his father and his own anguish over his introverted sister, who was later permanently institutionalized. Williams attended the University of Missouri, and, after time out to clerk for a shoe company and for his own mental breakdown, also attended Washington University of St. Louis and the University of Iowa, from which he graduated in 1938. Williams began to write plays in 1935. During 1943 he spent six months as a contract screenwriter for MGM but produced only one script, The Gentleman Caller. When MGM rejected it, Williams turned it into his first major success, The Glass Menagerie (1945). In this intensely autobiographical play, Williams dramatizes the story of Amanda, who dreams of restoring her lost past by finding a gentleman caller for her crippled daughter, and of Amanda's son Tom, who longs to escape from the responsibility of supporting his mother and sister. After The Glass Menagerie,Williams wrote his masterpiece, A Streetcar Named Desire, (1947), along with a steady stream of other plays, among them such major works as Summer and Smoke(1948), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1954), and Suddenly Last Summer (1958). His plays celebrate the "fugitive kind," the sensitive outcasts whose outsider status allows them to perceive the horror of the world and who often give additional witness to that horror by becoming its victims. Stephen S. Stanton has summed up Williams's "virtues and strengths" as "a genius for portraiture, particularly of women, a sensitive ear for dialogue and the rhythms of natural speech, a comic talent often manifesting itself in "black comedy,' and a genuine theatrical flair exhibited in telling stage effects attained through lighting, costume, music, and movements." After The Night of the Iguana (1961), Williams continued to write profusely---and constantly to revise his work---but it became more difficult to get productions of his plays and, if they were produced, to win critical or popular acclaim for them. Williams won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for these two and for The Glass Menagerie and The Night of the Iguana. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from A Streetcar Named Desire
… (more)
A Streetcar Named Desire 7,028 copies, 80 reviews
The Glass Menagerie 5,903 copies, 62 reviews
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 2,651 copies, 26 reviews
The Night of the Iguana (Author) 470 copies, 9 reviews
Collected Stories 465 copies, 3 reviews
Memoirs 447 copies, 10 reviews
Plays 1937-1955 388 copies, 1 review
Suddenly Last Summer 336 copies, 5 reviews
The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone 303 copies, 4 reviews
Plays 1957-1980 297 copies, 2 reviews
Sweet Bird of Youth 272 copies, 5 reviews
Summer and Smoke 261 copies, 3 reviews
A Streetcar Named Desire [1951 film] (Original play) 185 copies, 4 reviews
The Rose Tattoo (Author) 176 copies, 2 reviews
Orpheus Descending 163 copies, 3 reviews
Camino Real 158 copies, 2 reviews
Moise and the World of Reason 145 copies, 1 review
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof [1958 film] (Play) 132 copies, 7 reviews
One Arm and Other Stories 114 copies, 1 review
Baby Doll 106 copies, 2 reviews
Vieux Carré (Author) 75 copies, 1 review
Notebooks 74 copies, 1 review
Dragon Country 60 copies, 1 review
Period of Adjustment 56 copies, 1 review
Spring Storm (Author) 36 copies, 2 reviews
American blues 35 copies
Selected Plays 34 copies
Where I Live: Selected Essays 31 copies, 1 review
Senso [1954 film] (Dialogue) 30 copies, 1 review
Out Cry 29 copies
Tales of Desire 25 copies
Baby Doll [1956 film] (Screenwriter) 23 copies, 3 reviews
The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone [1961 film] (Author) 19 copies, 1 review
The Fugitive Kind [1960 film] (Screenwriter) 18 copies, 1 review
A Streetcar Named Desire [1995 TV movie] (Author) 18 copies, 1 review
The Rose Tattoo [1955 film] (Screenplay) 12 copies, 1 review
Piezas cortas 12 copies, 1 review
I "blues" 7 copies
Teatro 5 copies
Essential Tennessee Williams 4 copies, 1 review
Théâtre II 2 copies
EL PAIS DEL DRAGÓN (Author) 2 copies
Grand 2 copies
Portrait of a Madonna (Author) 2 copies
Boom [1968 film] (Screenwriter) 2 copies, 1 review
At Liberty 2 copies
Arena 1936 1 copy
Snowfall 1 copy
The Best American Short Stories of the Century (Contributor) 1,462 copies, 9 reviews
Death of a Salesman [critical edition] (Contributor) 1,205 copies, 8 reviews
Reflections in a Golden Eye (Afterword, some editions) 936 copies, 29 reviews
Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (Contributor, some editions) 853 copies, 7 reviews
Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Literature (Contributor) 458 copies, 8 reviews
Six Great Modern Plays (Contributor) 421 copies, 2 reviews
Sudden Fiction: American Short-Short Stories (Contributor) 338 copies, 6 reviews
The Faber Book of Gay Short Fiction (Contributor) 308 copies
The Best American Essays 2004 (Contributor) 277 copies, 1 review
24 Favorite One Act Plays (Contributor) 245 copies, 1 review
Six Modern American Plays (Contributor) 244 copies, 1 review
The Literary Cat (Contributor) 218 copies
The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse (Contributor) 212 copies, 2 reviews
Masterpieces of the Drama (Contributor) 166 copies, 2 reviews
Famous American Plays of the 1950s (Contributor) 151 copies
The Signet Classic Book of Southern Short Stories (Contributor) 112 copies, 1 review
New voices in the American theatre (Contributor) 104 copies, 1 review
Into the Mummy's Tomb (Contributor) 100 copies
The Pulps: Fifty Years of American Pop Culture (Contributor) 89 copies, 1 review
One Act: Eleven Short Plays of the Modern Theater (Contributor) 88 copies, 1 review
American Fantastic Tales: Boxed Set (Contributor) 88 copies, 2 reviews
Stories from The New Yorker, 1950 to 1960 (Contributor) 68 copies, 2 reviews
Suddenly, Last Summer [1959 film] (Original play) 59 copies, 4 reviews
Gay Sunshine Interviews. Vol. 1 (Interviewee) 58 copies
The Male Muse: A Gay Anthology (Contributor) 57 copies
Tales of the Dead (Contributor) 57 copies
10 Short Plays (Contributor) 54 copies
Sky Magic: Poems (Contributor) 44 copies, 3 reviews
Modern and Contemporary Drama (Contributor) 41 copies, 1 review
The Night of the Iguana [1964 film] (Original play) 39 copies, 1 review
Contemporary Drama - 11 Plays (Contributor) 38 copies
Best American Plays: Fifth Series, 1957-1963 (Contributor) 37 copies, 1 review
New Orleans Noir 2: The Classics (Contributor) 36 copies, 3 reviews
Ten Great One Act Plays (Contributor) 33 copies
14 great plays (Contributor) 29 copies
The Signet Book of Short Plays (Contributor) 27 copies
Sweet Bird of Youth [1961 film] (Original play) 24 copies, 1 review
The Unspeakable People (Contributor) 22 copies
Fiends and Creatures (Contributor) 20 copies
Best Plays of the Sixties (Contributor) 20 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1973 (Contributor) 19 copies
This Property is Condemned [1966 film] (Original play) 19 copies, 1 review
Twentieth-Century American Drama (Contributor) 16 copies
Plays for reading (Contributor) 16 copies, 2 reviews
Mummy: A Chrestomathy of Cryptology (Contributor) 14 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1953 (Contributor) 14 copies
Mississippi Writers: An Anthology (Contributor) 13 copies
Summer and Smoke [1961 film] (Original story) 9 copies, 1 review
One Act Plays for Our Times (Contributor) 9 copies
The Glass Menagerie [1973 film] (Original story) 9 copies, 1 review
Sweet Bird of Youth [1989 film] (Original play) 6 copies, 1 review
The Glass Menagerie [1987 film] (Original Story) 6 copies, 1 review
Laurence Olivier Presents [TV series] (original play) 4 copies, 1 review
Twenty-Three Modern Stories (Contributor) 4 copies
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof [1984 TV movie] (Original story) 3 copies, 1 review
50 seltsame Geschichten (Contributor) 1 copy

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Tennessee Williams's book New Orleans Noir: The Classics was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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