A biography in the shoes of a famous author
In the small town of Columbus, Mississippi on March 26, 1911, Thomas Lanier Williams, also know as the famous author Tennessee Williams, was born. He was the second child, and first son of Corneilious and Edwina Williams.
His father was an international shoe salesman, a heavy drinker and a strong gambler. He too was going to become a drinker. He was gone a lot during Tennessee's childhood, that forced him to spend enormous amounts of time with his sister Rose, mother, and grandparents. Despite the fact that Tennessee didn't like his father he adored his maternal grandfather. At seven, Tennessee was diagnosed with Diphtheria. For two years he could do almost nothing. With this his mother wasn't going to allow him to waste his time just sitting around, so she encouraged him to use his imagination a lot. At thirteen his mother gave him a typewriter, nothing like today's modern computers.
" He spent most of his time closing his eyes. He could see wonderful, magnificent scenes in his mind." Anonymous critic.
His mother didn't approve of him playing with other boys. After grammar and high school years ended in 1929, he set out to find a college. The first college he went to was the University of Missouri. His father didn't approve of his son becoming an author so, after his first year at Missouri his father made him quit and work in the shoe business. All he wanted to do was writing, in his case it was his form of escape from the outside world. At times it would keep him up all night, and it made him terribly exhausted, later on leading to a nervous breakdown and a heart problem due to lack of sleep. After going to the hospital for a while his father agreed to let him go to the University of Washington. There he got some of his papers published. He didn't win the writing contest he entered, so he quit and went to University of Iowa. That is where he received the name Tennessee. The boys at the University knew he came from the south, and from Tennessee, so as a nickname he was called that, and he decided to keep it. "It's better then being called Mississippi," he joked. Around this time he got his Bachelors Degree from Iowa, and Rose, his older sister had gotten a Frontal Lobotomy. This affected Tennessee Williams for the rest of his life knowing that his sister and good friend wasn't ever going to be the same again. He felt guilty because of this. "The Glass Menagerie" has some biographical background to it, in the story; Tennessee Williams is "Tom" and he is struggling to support his mother, and sister after his father leaves a few year before. His form of escape is the movies, where he goes to find action and adventure. At the end of the story he leaves, just like his father did, and who never comes back.
He dreamed of joining the Writers Project of Chicago, but was turned down. That is when he decided to come down to New Orleans. He came and went from New Orleans. He lived here on and off in and around the French Quarter.
When his eyesight faded as his writing carrier began to sprout. He was an overnight success as a result of "The Glass Menagerie." Even though this happened his plays were slowly produced one by one. In fact many of them failed, but he never gave up. During this time he had to support himself in doing so he had worked as a Teletype operator, a poetry-recycling writer, and a theater usher. In 1943, he got the job as a scriptwriter.
He won he Pulitzer Prize for his story "A Streetcar Named Desire." Many of his plays were made into movies and were hits. He was said to have a deep feeling for mystery in people's lives. He once said to an interviewer "Perhaps his unknowingness could tell, I can not." He tried to include romantic scenes even though he was brought up not to talk about them. Loneliness followed him around like a shadow and never left him.
At one point in his life, he thought he had breast cancer and had a surgery. The surgery proved that it wasn't breast cancer but a lump due to his heavy drinking. At this point his life you would think his life were falling apart. He had psychiatric help. Everything was terrible. It was said that he had a hard time walking down the street without there being a bar in sight, not because he needed a drink but because he could go in to feel secure and get a drink if he needed one.
He also traveled to Europe, Africa, Mexico, and finally settled in Key West. He was very famous at the time. After he had gotten psychiatric help he started t get his life together.
On February 24th 1983, one night before going to sleep he took his usual Seconals to help him sleep. There were many pills scattered on the bedside table along with a picture of the Virgin Mary and Child (he took it every where he went). Later that night he reached for another Seconals and grabbed a plastic cap. It was stuck in is throat, as he tried to summon for help, no one could hear him. He knocked something over, and it made a crashing noise. His friend in the other room, Jon, heard the noise and ignored it, so then he died.
27 wagons full of Cotton: 194
Camino Real: 1953
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: 1955
Clothes for a Summer Hotel: a Ghost Play: 1983
Battle of Ages: 1945
Dragon Counting, A book of Plays: 1970
The Eccentricities of a Nightingale: 1964
Five Play: 19625
American Blues: 1953
The Fugitive Kind: 1960
Garden District: 1959
The Glass Menagerie: 1945
I Raise a Flame, Cried he Phoenix: 1951
In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel: 1969
Kingdom of the Earth: 1968
A lovely Sunday Creve Coer: 1980
The Milk Train doesn't stop here anymore: 1964
The Mutilated: 1967
The Night of the Iguana: 1961
Not About Nightingales: 1998
Orpheus Descending: 1958
A Perfect Analysis is given by a Parrot: 1958
Period Adjustment: 1960
The Red Devil Battery Sign: 1988
Te Remarkable Rooming-House of mine: 1984
The Rose tattoo: 1951
Small Craft Warnings: 1973
Something Cloudy, Something Clear: 1995
Steps must be Gentle: 1980
Stopped Rocking and other Screenplays: 1984
A Street Car Named Desire: 1947
Suddenly Last Summer: 1958
Summer and Smoke: 1948
Sweet Bird of Youth: 1958
The Two-Character Play: 1979
Vieux Carre: 1979
You touched me: 1947
Eight Moral Ladies Possessed: 1974
Hard Candy: 1959
It happened the day the Sun rose: 1981
The Knightly Quest: 1966
Mosie and the world of reason: 1075
One Arm, and other stories: 1967
The Roman Spring on Mrs. Stone: 1950
Short Stories: 1986
Three Layers of Summer Tell: 1960
Androgyny, Mon Amour: 1977
Five Young American Poets: 1944
In the winter of Cities: 1956
Baby Doll: 1056
Blue Mountain Ballads: 1946
Five O'clock Angel: 1990
Letters to Donald Windham: 1977
Lord Byron's Love Letter: 1975
The Notebook of Triorin: A free Adaptation of Anton Chekhov's the Sea Gull: 1997
Where I Live: 1979