The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams: Volume One 1920 - 1945 by Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams blazed onto the world stage after World War II with powerful dramas like A Streetcar Named Desire, Sweet Bird of Youth, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Night of the Iguana, all plays which reached mass audiences in star-studded film versions. No other modern playwright has achieved such worldwide popularity. Few other playwrights have such a grasp of what passions and fears lie trapped in the ordinary human heart. The Selected Letters lift the lid on the private workings of Williams' mind and reveal an eye for precise detail and dramatic structure. The letters chronicle the Williams family drama and follow Tom through a painful return to St Louis and later attendance at three midwestern universities until, in 1939, he assumes his famous persona, Tennessee, and begins a transforming life on the road. The Selected Letters culminate in 1945 with his first Broadway success, The Glass Menagerie. Williams writes here with piety, wit and astute self-knowledge. These 330 letters, collected by two leading American Williams scholars, are presented with commentary as well as sketches and photographs, forming a virtual autobiography of the great American dramatist.