Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire is the tale of a catastrophic confrontation between fantasy and reality, embodied in the characters of Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski.
‘I have always depended on the kindness of strangers’
Fading southern belle Blanche DuBois is adrift in the modern world. When she arrives to stay with her sister Stella in a crowded, boisterous corner of New Orleans, her delusions of grandeur bring her into conflict with Stella’s crude, brutish husband Stanley Kowalski. Eventually their violent collision course causes Blanche’s fragile sense of identity to crumble, threatening to destroy her sanity and her one chance of happiness.
Tennessee Williams’s steamy and shocking landmark drama, recreated as the immortal film starring Marlon Brando, is one of the most influential plays of the twentieth century.
This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by Arthur Miller.
‘Lyrical and poetic and human and heartbreaking and memorable and funny’
Francis Ford Coppola, director of The Godfather
Blanche is the Everest of modern American drama, a peak of psychological complexity and emotional range. —John Lahr
In Streetcar Williams found images and rhythms that are still part of the way we think and feel and move. —Jack Kroll
Lyrical and poetic and human and heartbreaking and memorable and funny. –-Francis Ford Coppola
The introductions, by playwrights as illustrious as Williams himself, are the gem of these new editions. —Ken Furtado
About the Author
Tennessee Williams was an American playwright and author of many stage classics. After years of obscurity, he became suddenly famous with ‘The Glass Menagerie’, closely reflecting his own unhappy family background. This heralded a string of successes, including ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’, ‘Orpheus Descending’, and ‘Sweet Bird of Youth’. His later work attempted a new style that did not appeal to audiences, and alcohol and drug dependence further inhibited his creative output. Williams adapted much of his best work for the cinema, and also wrote short stories, poetry, essays and a volume of memoirs. In 1979, four years before his death, he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
Published: March 2009
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