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Yale University Press, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 828 pages
3 Reviews
Tennessee Williams’s Notebooks, here published for the first time, presents by turns a passionate, whimsical, movingly lyrical, self-reflective, and completely uninhibited record of the life of this monumental American genius from 1936 to 1981, the year of his death. In these pages Williams (1911-1981) wrote out his most private thoughts as well as sketches of plays, poems, and accounts of his social, professional, and sexual encounters. The notebooks are the repository of Williams’s fears, obsessions, passions, and contradictions, and they form possibly the most spontaneous self-portrait by any writer in American history.
Meticulously edited and annotated by Margaret Thornton, the notebooks follow Williams’ growth as a writer from his undergraduate days to the publication and production of his most famous plays, from his drug addiction and drunkenness to the heights of his literary accomplishments. At one point, Williams writes, “I feel dull and disinterested in the literary line. Dr. Heller bores me with all his erudite discussion of literature. Writing is just writing! Why all the fuss about it?” This remarkable record of the life of Tennessee Williams is about writing—how his writing came up like a pure, underground stream through the often unhappy chaos of his life to become a memorable and permanent contribution to world literature.

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Review: Notebooks

User Review  - Chad Morgan - Goodreads

Opening this book is like peeling the scalp off an American genius and examining their brain for 800+ glorious pages. Read full review

Review: Notebooks

User Review  - minervasowl - Goodreads

I would like to think that I am not much of a voyeur when it comes to the lives of famous people, but the idea of reading their letters and journals is too strong a temptation, which makes me fairly certain that I will require that my letters and journals be burned when I die. Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Margaret Bradham Thornton is a writer and independent scholar based in Bedminster, New Jersey.

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