Exploring human passion with daring and unflinching honesty, Tennessee Williams forged a poetic theater of raw psychological insight that fused realism and expressionism. Now, in an authoritative two-volume edition, The Library of America collects the plays that reveal a prophetic figure in American life and letters--a writer of generous sympathies and uncompromising frankness who reached wide audiences with plays that revolutionized the themes and styles of the modern theater. This second volume traces Williams's career as it evolved in his adventurous and sometimes shocking later works, including "Orpheus Descending," "Suddenly Last Summer," and "Sweet Bird of Youth," plays that stirred controversy when first produced because of their concern with acts of horrific violence; the satiric marital comedy "Period of Adjustment"; "The Night of the Iguana," a moving drama set in Mexico that contains some of Williams's most lyric writing, and "The Eccentricities of a Nightingale," a re-imagining of the earlier "Summer and Smoke."
"The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore," with its use of Kabuki-like stylization, began a more experimental phase of Williams's writing, represented here by "Kingdom of Earth" (also known as "The Seven Descents of Myrtle"), "The Mutilated," "Small Craft Warnings," and "Out Cry." In late plays such as "A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur" and the autobiographical "Vieux Carre," Williams returned to many of his earlier themes and settings.
This edition includes a newly researched chronology of Tennessee Williams's life, explanatory notes (including cast lists of many of the original productions), and an essay on the texts.