Tennessee Williams

Author

America’s playwright

Arguably America’s greatest playwright, Tennessee Williams was born Thomas Lanier Williams in Mississippi on March 26, 1911. The son of a salesman and a Southern belle, Williams spent his much of his early childhood in the parsonage of his beloved grandfather, an Episcopal priest, but moved with his family to St. Louis, where he attended high school and began to write. Forced by his father to leave the University of Missouri and take a 9-to-5 job in a shoe factory, Williams became more and more determined to be a successful writer. He took classes at Washington University in St. Louis, and wrote his first plays. In 1938 he earned a degree fro the Univeristy of Iowa, where he wrote Spring Storm. Of the theater he remarked: “know it’s the only thing that saved my life.” By 1939, he had adopted the name of Tennessee Williams, written Battle of Angels (for which he received a Rockefeller Foundation grant) and found his loyal and intrepid agent Audrey Wood. His first great success came in 1944 with his “memory play,” The Glass Menagerie, which opened in Chicago to rave reviews and moved to Broadway, where it won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best play of the year. A Streetcar Named Desire, his next play, was a huge success in 1947 and established Williams as the premiere American playwright of his generation. Between 1948 and 1959, he enjoyed a string of Broadway successes, including Summer and Smoke (1948), The Rose Tattoo (1951), Camino Real (1953), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), Orpheus Descending (1957) and Sweet Bird of Youth (1959). By 1959 he had won two Pulitzer Prizes, three New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, and a Tony Award. Movies were made of many of his plays and brought him huge success, renown and wealth. He continued to write voraciously, every day, producing novels, stories, and many new, radical and inventive plays, which did not always meet with the public’s approval, but which are now being revived and re-staged to great acclaim. As well as being astonishingly talented and prolific, Tennessee Williams was a man of considerable personal courage, willing to be open about being a gay man at a time when few were. Tennessee Williams is a cornerstone of New Directions, as we publish everything he wrote in his storied career. He is also our single bestselling author.

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone

Orpheus Descending & Suddenly Last Summer

Orpheus Descending & Suddenly Last Summer

The Glass Menagerie (Centennial Edition)

The Glass Menagerie (Centennial Edition)

The Magic Tower And Other One-Act Plays

The Magic Tower And Other One-Act Plays

The Rose Tattoo

The Rose Tattoo

Tales of Desire

Tales of Desire

The Night of the Iguana

The Night of the Iguana

Where I Live

Where I Live

Sweet Bird Of Youth

Sweet Bird Of Youth

Camino Real

Camino Real

A House Not Meant To Stand

A House Not Meant To Stand

The Traveling Companion & Other Plays

The Traveling Companion & Other Plays

Memoirs

Memoirs

The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams Vol. II: 1946-1957

The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams Vol. II: 1946-1957

The Collected Poems Of Tennessee Williams

The Collected Poems Of Tennessee Williams

Mister Paradise & Other One Act Plays

Mister Paradise & Other One Act Plays

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

Candles To The Sun

Candles To The Sun

The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams Vol. I: 1920-1945

The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams Vol. I: 1920-1945

Fugitive Kind

Fugitive Kind

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. VIII

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. VIII

Eight Mortal Ladies Possessed

Eight Mortal Ladies Possessed

Vieux Carre

Vieux Carre

Stairs To The Roof

Stairs To The Roof

Spring Storm

Spring Storm

The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie

Not About Nightingales

Not About Nightingales

The Notebook Of Trigorin

The Notebook Of Trigorin

Something Cloudy Something Clear

Something Cloudy Something Clear

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. VII

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. VII

The Collected Stories of Tennessee Williams

The Collected Stories of Tennessee Williams

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. IV

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. IV

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. VI

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. VI

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. III

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. III

Baby Doll & Tiger Tail

Baby Doll & Tiger Tail

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. V

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. V

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. II

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. II

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. I

The Theatre Of Tennessee Williams, Vol. I

The Red Devil Battery Sign

The Red Devil Battery Sign

Stopped Rocking And Other Screenplays

Stopped Rocking And Other Screenplays

Clothes For A Summer Hotel

Clothes For A Summer Hotel

Lovely Sunday For Creve Coeur

Lovely Sunday For Creve Coeur

The Two Character Play

The Two Character Play

Dragon Country

Dragon Country

One Arm & Other Stories

One Arm & Other Stories

Hard Candy

Hard Candy

27 Wagons Full of Cotton

27 Wagons Full of Cotton

In The Winter Of Cities

In The Winter Of Cities