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Menagerie was Williams's first popular success and launched the brilliant, if somewhat controversial, career of our pre-eminent lyric playwright. Since its premiere in Chicago in 1944, with the legendary Laurette Taylor in the role of Amanda, the play has been the bravura piece for great actresses from Jessica Tandy to Joanne Woodward, and is studied and performed in classrooms and theatres around the world. The Glass Menagerie (in the reading text the author preferred) is now available only in its New Directions Paperbook edition. A new introduction by prominent Williams scholar Robert Bray, editor of The Tennessee Williams Annual Review, reappraises the play more than half a century after it won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award: More than fifty years after telling his story of a family whose lives form a triangle of quiet desperation, Williams's mellifluous voice still resonates deeply and universally. This edition of The Glass Menagerie also includes Williams's essay on the impact of sudden fame on a struggling writer, The Catastrophe of Success, as well as a short section of Williams's own Production Notes. The cover features the classic line drawing by Alvin Lustig, originally done for the 1949 New Directions edition.
Tennessee Williams, born Thomas Lanier Williams in 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi won Pulitzer Prizes for his dramas, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Other plays include The Glass Menagerie, Summer and Smoke, The Rose Tattoo, Camino Real, Suddenly Last Summer, Sweet Bird of Youth and Night of the Iguana. He also wrote a number of one-act plays, short stories, poems and two novels, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone and Moishe and the Age of Reason. He died in 1983 at the age of 72.
Robert Bray is an author, editor, and Tennessee Williams scholar.
With the advent of The Glass Menagerie . . . Tennessee Williams emerged as a poet-playwright and a unique new force in theatre throughout the world. --Lyle Leverich in Tom: The Unknown Tennessee Wil" The revolutionary newness of The Glass Menagerie . . . was in its poetic lift, but an underlying hard dramatic structure was what earned the play its right to sing poetically. --Arthur Miller"