Orpheus Descending & Suddenly Last Summer
Fiction by Tennessee Williams
Orpheus Descending is a love story and a plea for spiritual and artistic freedom, as well as a portrait of racism and intolerance. When a charismatic drifter, Valentine Xavier, arrives in a Mississippi Delta town with his guitar and snakeskin jacket, he becomes a trigger for hatred and a magnet for three outcast souls: shopkeeper Lady Torrance, “lewd vagrant” Carol Cutrere, and religious visionary Vee Talbot.
_Suddenly Last Summer_—described by its author as a “short morality play”—has become one of his most notorious works, due in no small part to the film version starring Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, and Montgomery Clift that shocked audiences in 1959. A menacing tale of madness, jealously, and denial, Suddenly Last Summer’’s build to a heart-stopping conclusion.
Perceptive new introductions by the playwright Martin Sherman reframe Orpheus Descending in a political context and explore the psychology and sensationalism surrounding Suddenly Last Summer.