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27 Wagons Full of Cotton And Other One-Act Plays Paperback – January 17, 1966

ISBN-13: 978-0811202251 ISBN-10: 0811202259

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions (January 17, 1966)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811202259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811202251
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) is the acclaimed author of many books of letters, short stories, poems, essays, and a large collection of plays, including The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Camino Real, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending, The Night of the Iguana, and The Rose Tattoo.

Customer Reviews

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Haugh VINE VOICE on July 11, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first professional performance of a play I ever saw was A Streetcar Named Desire. The first major part I ever acted in a play was in The Glass Menagerie. The largest city near my hometown when I was growing up was St. Louis. So I have a close connection to Tennessee Williams and I admire him very much as a playwright but I had never read these short plays of his until now. There are some wonderful things here.
Nearly all the plays here are quite interesting, my favorites of these play being the simplest ones where two or three characters are having conversations: "Talk To Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen...," "This Property is Condemned," "Auto-Da-Fe" and "Something Unspoken." Slightly more complex but still plays with depth and interest are the title play ("27 Wagons Full of Cotton"), "The Lady of Larkspur Lotion," "Portrait of a Madonna" and "The Strangest Kind of Romance."
If there is a problems with some of these plays, it is the difficulty in staging them; certainly with the kind of detail that Williams specifies in the stage directions. Many of the theatre companies I work with simply do not have the resources to create the kind of wonderful images Williams describes. I loved reading "The Purification"--a lovely verse play--but I thought it incredibly difficult to stage, which is too bad.
Even if you aren't considering staging the plays, however, they are worth reading. It is easy to see from these early plays how Williams was developing the ideas that would become some of his greatest characters, particularly Blanche from Streetcar. If you have any interest in Williams as a playwright, this is a book that should definitely be read.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
This collection contains 13 short works by Williams. This work draws me to it because of the poetic style that Williams uses. Not only the dialogue, but the moods and situations are both poetic--both subtle and dynamic at the same time. These short plays may not be crafted as well as such masterworks as -Streetcar- and -Menagerie-, but Tennessee was definitely on to something when he wrote them. They are strange, but Williams doesn't seem to be contriving strange things for the sake of being strange or making spectacle. The power in these works reminds me of the power of the contemporary poet Louise Gluck; I can't really understand why Louise's poetry or Tennessee's short works are so strong because they seem so simple and sparce. I am an aspiring writer and director--for someone heading in either of those directions, this book is a must read. It will make you think. You must be prepared to not really understand the works, but that hazy quality makes them all the more wonderful. It's as if Williams knows the language of feelings and doesn't employ the language of the mind with which we're so familiar.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ira Sokolova on June 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tennessee Williams doesn't need to be reviewed, he made his name to the world long time ago, and that name is a legendary one!

Still, for the youngest generation of theatre enthusiasts this particular volume of 13 one-act plays could be an exciting discovery of the broader aspects of the author's talent. Most of the plays included in this collection haven't been often explored on stage and producing them now would bring an unexpected freshness to the theatre modern scene, in my opinion.

In The Purification, written in verse, the readers sensitive to poetry could get stricken by its surprisingly natural way of poetic expressiveness!

Least, but not last Tennessee Williams' introduction to this book, his essay "Something wild...," is a real treasure - inspiring and stimulating! Because, yes, I believe, we do need something WILD if we want to keep theatre and art alive!
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By Ilene A. on March 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From one of America's greatest playwrights. His early work, shorter plays, are included in this volume. One marvels
at his artistry.
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More About the Author

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), one of the 20th century's most superb writers, was also one of its most successful and prolific. His classic works include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, Summer and Smoke, Camino Real, Sweet Bird of Youth, Night of the Iguana, Orpheus Descending, and The Rose Tattoo.

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