Tennessee Williams'' innovative approach and natural lyricism transformed American drama after World War II. Both major and minor works continue to be performed worldwide at the same time that his earliest (and previously unproduced) plays make audiences remember what theatrical excitement is all about. And now, the first volume of The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams takes the author from boyhood through high school, college, and tentative productions of fledgling work to screen-writing at MGM, culminating in his first major success with the autobiographical The Glass Menagerie in 1945. The letters detail, in the playwright''s own words, the painful intensity of his early life as the Williams'' family drama creates a template for the plays to come.
Presented with a running commentary to separate Williams'' sometimes hilarious (but often devious) counter-reality from truth, The Selected Letters, Volume I: 1920-1945 (which includes 330 letters out of nearly 2300 collected) has been meticulously edited by two of this country''s premier Williams scholars. Albert J. Devlin, professor of English at the University of Missouri, and Nancy M. Tischler, Professor Emerita of Pennsylvania State University, author of the first critical study of Williams'' work, Tennessee Williams: Rebellious Puritan.