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Tennessee Williams: Everyone Else Is an Audience Hardcover – February 23, 1994

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hayman ( Proust: A Biography ) analyzes the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) in a study that emphasizes the extent to which Williams based his plays on the events of his life. Born into a Mississippi family with an alcoholic father and a mentally ill sister, Williams, a homosexual, subsequently found his adult relationships difficult. He conducted numerous casual affairs and abused his long-term lovers emotionally. Hayman theorizes that the disturbed and violent characters in such plays as The Glass Menagerie , A Streetcar Named Desire and other works were based on the playwright's family and friends, as well as on Williams himself. After his initial theatrical successes in the 1940s and '50s, Williams became addicted to drugs and alcohol and led a self-destructive life. Although Hayman acknowledges Williams's greatness as a writer, his portrait of the man will strike some readers as basically unsympathetic and as focusing excessively on the playwright's worst qualities. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Hayman's scholarly biography examines the connection between the people in Williams's life and his plays. Filled with photographic memorabilia that is most touching, the book shows that the subject's family, lovers, and companions who accompanied him on his journey through success to failure and decline turn up thematically in his work. As a chronicle of guilt, sexual excess, and drug abuse, this life is more than a detached narrative. It argues that Williams was a fugitive from loneliness and fear all his life, continually moving, with no permanent address, seeking comfort and peace in all the wrong places. By the end, the story becomes an image of American culture at its most fragile. For serious theater collections.
- Thomas E. Luddy, Salem State Coll., Mass.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (February 23, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300054149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300054149
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,907,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
It's a crime this book is so little known even by admirers of Tennessee Williams. Although published by an academic publishers, it's a straightforward biography, deeply researched and printed on excellent paper stock with many rare photographs. Mr. Williams' sad personal decline and personal shortcomings are not ignored but this clear-eyed book also celebrates the genius that he was. This is one of the best written accounts on the greatest playwright America has ever produced.
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