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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 7,702 copies, 92 reviews
The Glass Menagerie (Author) 6,450 copies, 69 reviews
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 2,851 copies, 30 reviews
The Night of the Iguana 520 copies, 11 reviews
Collected Stories 499 copies, 2 reviews
Memoirs 480 copies, 9 reviews
Plays 1937-1955 409 copies, 1 review
Suddenly Last Summer 355 copies, 5 reviews
The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone 324 copies, 3 reviews
Plays 1957-1980 311 copies, 2 reviews
Summer and Smoke 275 copies, 3 reviews
Sweet Bird of Youth 260 copies, 5 reviews
A Streetcar Named Desire [1951 film] (Original play) 202 copies, 2 reviews
The Rose Tattoo (Author) 190 copies, 2 reviews
Orpheus Descending 168 copies, 3 reviews
Camino Real 166 copies, 3 reviews
Moise and the World of Reason 156 copies, 1 review
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof [1958 film] (Play) 151 copies, 4 reviews
One Arm and Other Stories 123 copies, 1 review
Baby Doll 104 copies, 3 reviews
Tennessee Williams: Eight Plays 100 copies, 1 review
Notebooks 80 copies, 1 review
Vieux Carré (Author) 75 copies, 1 review
Dragon Country 63 copies, 1 review
Period of Adjustment 61 copies, 1 review
American blues 41 copies
Spring Storm (Author) 37 copies, 2 reviews
Baby Doll [1956 film] (Screenwriter) 33 copies, 1 review
Out Cry 32 copies
Selected Plays 32 copies
Tales of Desire 30 copies
The Fugitive Kind [1960 film] (Screenwriter) 23 copies
The Rose Tattoo [1955 film] (Screenplay) 18 copies
Piezas cortas 13 copies, 1 review
I "blues" 7 copies
Teatro 7 copies
The Glass Menagerie 3 copies, 1 review
EL PAIS DEL DRAGÓN (Author) 2 copies
The Dark Room 2 copies
Grand 2 copies
Théâtre II 2 copies
At Liberty 2 copies
Portrait of a Madonna (Author) 2 copies
Weird Show 1 copy
Arena 1936 1 copy
Snowfall 1 copy
The Best American Short Stories of the Century (Contributor) 1,533 copies, 10 reviews
Death of a Salesman [critical edition] (Contributor) 1,240 copies, 8 reviews
Reflections in a Golden Eye (Afterword, some editions) 995 copies, 35 reviews
Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (Contributor, some editions) 897 copies, 7 reviews
Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Literature (Contributor) 485 copies, 8 reviews
Six Great Modern Plays (Contributor) 454 copies, 2 reviews
Sudden Fiction: American Short-Short Stories (Contributor) 359 copies, 6 reviews
The Faber Book of Gay Short Fiction (Contributor) 318 copies
The Best American Essays 2004 (Contributor) 284 copies, 1 review
24 Favorite One Act Plays (Contributor) 272 copies, 1 review
Six Modern American Plays (Contributor) 263 copies, 1 review
The Literary Cat (Contributor) 239 copies
The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse (Contributor) 230 copies, 2 reviews
Masterpieces of the Drama (Contributor) 173 copies, 2 reviews
Famous American Plays of the 1950s (Contributor) 159 copies
The Signet Classic Book of Southern Short Stories (Contributor) 120 copies, 1 review
New voices in the American theatre (Contributor) 111 copies, 1 review
Into the Mummy's Tomb (Contributor) 107 copies
The Pulps: Fifty Years of American Pop Culture (Contributor) 99 copies, 1 review
One Act: Eleven Short Plays of the Modern Theater (Contributor) 98 copies, 1 review
American Fantastic Tales: Boxed Set (Contributor) 90 copies, 2 reviews
Suddenly, Last Summer [1959 film] (Original play) 73 copies, 2 reviews
Stories from The New Yorker, 1950 to 1960 (Contributor) 68 copies, 2 reviews
Tales of the Dead (Contributor) 62 copies
The Male Muse: A Gay Anthology (Contributor) 61 copies
10 Short Plays (Contributor) 60 copies
Gay Sunshine Interviews. Vol. 1 (Interviewee) 59 copies
The Night of the Iguana [1964 film] (Original play) 50 copies
Sky Magic: Poems (Contributor) 45 copies, 3 reviews
Modern and Contemporary Drama (Contributor) 43 copies, 1 review
Best American Plays: Fifth Series, 1957-1963 (Contributor) 41 copies, 1 review
Contemporary Drama - 11 Plays (Contributor) 41 copies
New Orleans Noir 2: The Classics (Contributor) 37 copies, 3 reviews
Fifty Best American Short Stories 1915-1965 (Contributor) 35 copies, 1 review
Senso [1954 film] (Dialogue) 35 copies
Ten Great One Act Plays (Contributor) 35 copies
14 great plays (Contributor) 31 copies
Sweet Bird of Youth [1961 film] (Original play) 31 copies
The Signet Book of Short Plays (Contributor) 27 copies
Best Plays of the Sixties (Contributor) 23 copies
The Unspeakable People (Contributor) 23 copies
Great Short Stories of the World (Contributor) 23 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1973 (Contributor) 22 copies
Twentieth-Century American Drama (Contributor) 22 copies
This Property is Condemned [1966 film] (Original play) 21 copies, 1 review
Fiends and Creatures (Contributor) 21 copies
Plays for reading (Contributor) 16 copies, 2 reviews
The Best American Short Stories 1953 (Contributor) 15 copies
Mississippi Writers: An Anthology (Contributor) 14 copies
Mummy: A Chrestomathy of Cryptology (Contributor) 14 copies
The Glass Menagerie [1987 film] (Original Story) 10 copies
One Act Plays for Our Times (Contributor) 10 copies
Summer and Smoke [1961 film] (Original story) 9 copies
The Glass Menagerie [1973 film] (Original story) 8 copies
Sweet Bird of Youth [1989 film] (Original play) 6 copies
Twenty-Three Modern Stories (Contributor) 4 copies
Laurence Olivier Presents [TV series] (original play) 4 copies
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof [1984 TV movie] (Original story) 4 copies
Boom [1968 film] (Screenwriter) 3 copies
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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