The greatest playwright of the American South, Tennessee Williams used his talent throughout his life to create brief plays exploring many of the themes that dominated his best-known works. Here, thirteen never-before-published one-act dramas reveal some of his most poignant and hilarious characters. From the indefatigable, witty and tough drag queens of And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens to the disheartened poet Mister Paradise, and the extravagant mistress in The Pink Bedroom, these are tales of isolated figures struggling against a cruel world, who refuse to lose sight of their dreams.
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Tennessee Williams was born in 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi, where his grandfather was the episcopal clergyman. When his father, a travelling salesman, moved with his family to St Louis some years later, both he and his sister found it impossible to settle down to city life. He entered college during the Depression and left after a couple of years to take a clerical job in a shoe company. He stayed there for two years, spending the evenings writing. He entered the University of Iowa in 1938 and completed his course, at the same time holding a large number of part-time jobs of great diversity. He received a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1940 for his play Battle of Angels, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 and 1955. Among his many other plays Penguin have published The Glass Menagerie (1944), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Summer and Smoke (1948), The Rose Tattoo (1951), Camino Real(1953), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), Orpheus Descending (1957), Sweet Bird of Youth (1959), Period of Adjustment (1960), The Night of the Iguana (1961), The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1963; revised 1964) and Small Craft Warnings (1972). He died in 1983.Review:
The plays have an immediacy and spontaneity that make them akin to snapshots. --Olivia Jane Smith
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