This magnificent tome is a treasure trove for Williams scholars and fans. Independent scholar Thornton not only tracked down Williams's early short stories and poems but often presents photo reproductions of the original manuscripts. A talented sleuth, Thornton cross-checks journal entries with letters Williams wrote to friends, offers minibiographies of people mentioned in the journals and has found photos of most of the cast of characters at the time they were in touch with Williams. Her detective work is fully one half of this massive book. (Williams's journal entries, from 1936 to 1958 and 1979 to 1981 run on the right-hand pages opposite Thornton's annotations.) As the playwright, according to Thornton, "modulated his tone and style to suit the recipient" of his voluminous correspondence, his journal reveals his authentic voice. These entries primarily showcase the budding artist who was plagued with insecurities, increasing drug dependency and an equally destructive addiction to celebrity, but his loyalty to his work remained so strong that he was still able to write The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Summer and Smoke, The Rose Tattoo and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof all between 1945 and 1955—the period that reflects the bulk of these notebooks.. Williams's dramatic life may be familiar to many, but thanks to Thornton's superb scholarship, his interior conflicts, motivations and drive are at last revealed. Photos. (Jan. 30)
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The greatest American playwright? Regardless of one's personal thoughts on his ultimate ranking, Tennessee Williams was inarguably great. For the first time, and for dedicated aficionados of his work, his complete journals are now being published. Kept during his adult life, from 1936 (at age 25) to 1981 (two years before his death at 71), his journals were scribbled by pencil into a series of ordinary spiral-bound notebooks, but what they contain is not ordinary. These entries are Williams unvarnished; his voice and views are not rehearsed, second-guessed, or even polished. He is honest about his life and lifestyle, from his overnervous stomach to his sexual exploits to the places to which he traveled. When opened at any page, the book displays annotations, which have been carefully and energetically written, on the left-hand side; the journal entries themselves appear on the right side. The fact is that a large degree of the pleasure of the book derives from the enjoyment of reading these extraordinarily riveting annotations. Brad Hooper
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Tennessee Williams' works have always intrigued me and I have enjoyed his plays very much. I am not much of a scholar about anything but I do like to read just about anything. Read morePublished 27 days ago by E. Ervin
All the Tennessee Williams books have been purchased for a dissertation. I have bought anything on him.
Yadah, Yadah, Yadah to fulfill the stupid word count restrictions
This is a must for any fan of theatre and Tennessee Williams in particular; amazing insights about the playwright, in his own thoughts and words-- I strongly recommend this book... Read morePublished on November 20, 2012 by pksommer
Gives amazing and intimate insights into the greatest playwright of many generations. If you've enjoyed books by Tennessee Williams or immersed yourself in films based on any of... Read morePublished on October 21, 2011 by J. David Kopp