Bloom, Harold, ed. A Streetcar Named Desire. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988.
This collection of essays about the play covers topics ranging from the theme of domestic violence to the lack of African-American characters. It includes an introduction by editor Harold Bloom, Yale University Sterling Professor of the Humanities, on Tennessee Williams’ literary influences.
———. Tennessee Williams. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.
This collection features 12 essays by various scholars that examine Williams’ plays, his poetry and nonfiction writing, and the trajectory of his career.
Griffin, Alice. Understanding Tennessee Williams. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1995.
This work evaluates Williams as both a literary author and a stage innovator, analyzing nine of his plays in depth. Author Alice Griffin, former professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York, interviewed participants in the original stage productions for this book.
Leverich, Lyle. Tom: The Unknown Tennessee Williams. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1995.
This biography of Williams focuses exclusively on his early years and playwriting efforts. It describes the evolution of The Glass Menagerie and ends with that play’s New York premiere, which established Williams as a leading playwright on the American theatre scene.
Londre, Felicia Hardison. Tennessee Williams. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1979.
Illustrated with photographs, this work includes a chronology with the salient facts of Williams's life and provides brief summaries and analyses for each of his published plays up to 1979. The author, a Professor of Theater at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, focuses on both large themes and fine details of staging.
O’Connor, Jacqueline. Dramatizing Dementia: Madness in the Plays of Tennessee Williams. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1997.
Organized by recurring theme, such as “women and madness,” this work draws upon a variety of sources to examine Williams' preoccupation with the mentally ill and society's treatment of them. It focuses on Williams’ well-known works, like The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire, and more obscure ones, like Portrait of a Madonna and Clothes for a Summer Hotel.
Roudane, Matthew C., ed. The Cambridge Companion to Tennessee Williams. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
This volume includes 13 original essays that range from analyses of specific plays to more general topics, such as the playwright’s relationship with his frequent director Elia Kazan and Hollywood’s treatment of his works. It also features a chapter on selected key productions and a bibliographic essay surveying the major critical statements on Williams.
Spoto, Donald. The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams. New York: Da Capo Press, 1997.
Originally published in 1985, this work was one of the first full biographies to appear in the wake of Williams’ 1983 death. It contains critical insights and a detailed description of the playwright’s life and career.
Williams, Tennessee. Memoirs. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1975.
The playwright gives an informal, impressionistic account of his life and plays in this work, his only book-long effort at autobiography. His discussion of his sexuality and sex life was considered highly graphic at the time of its publication.
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