Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh

Williams was a genius playwright. And author Lahr emphasizes how most of his work was influenced by his family, especially his puritanical, domineering mother, Edwina. Williams was a virgin until 26 and thereafter he had numerous homosexual affairs, some lasting several years, many only one night.

The biography focuses on his body of work in detail, the struggle to write, to get the work accepted and ready for stage, finding the right director, agreeing on the actors. Enough to drive a man to drink, which it did. Williams had a charmed life in the sense that he had talent and worked with talent. He also led a hellish existence, with self-doubt, a fragile ego, and Edwina, always belittling everything. I’m amazed he was able to produce as much as he did.

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