Glass Menagerie (Penguin Plays & Screenplays)

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9780140106398: Glass Menagerie (Penguin Plays & Screenplays)

Set in St Louis during the depression, the glass menagerie is one of Tennessee Williams' most powerful and moving plays. Abandoned by her husband when he 'fell in love with long distances', Amanda Wingfield comforts herself with recollections of her earlier, more gracious, life in blue mountain when she was pursued by 'gentleman callers'. Her son tom, a poet with a job in a warehouse, longs for adventure and escape from his mother's suffocating embrace. Laura, her shy crippled daughter, has her glass menagerie and her memories. Amanda is desperate to find her daughter a husband, but when the long-awaited gentleman caller does arrive, Laura's romantic illusions are finally crushed. Mirroring the quiet despair of the thirties, the "Glass Menagerie" in its nostalgia for a past world and its evocation of loneliness and lost love celebrates, above all, the human need to dream.

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About the Author:

Tennessee Williams was born in 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi, where his grandfather was the episcopal clergyman. When his father, a travelling salesman, moved with his family to St Louis some years later, both he and his sister found it impossible to settle down to city life. He entered college during the Depression and left after a couple of years to take a clerical job in a shoe company. He stayed there for two years, spending the evenings writing. He entered the University of Iowa in 1938 and completed his course, at the same time holding a large number of part-time jobs of great diversity. He received a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1940 for his play Battle of Angels, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 and 1955. Among his many other plays Penguin have published The Glass Menagerie (1944), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Summer and Smoke (1948), The Rose Tattoo (1951), Camino Real(1953), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), Orpheus Descending (1957), Sweet Bird of Youth (1959), Period of Adjustment (1960), The Night of the Iguana (1961), The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1963; revised 1964) and Small Craft Warnings (1972). He died in 1983.

From AudioFile:

In this semi-autobiographical play the domineering matriarch of the Wingfield family tries to find a "gentleman caller" for her fragile daughter. This is a "memory play"; the narrator/character, Tom, continually shifts from narration to his "in scene" character. This technique makes the drama a most effective selection for audio. The cast is extraordinary throughout, with each performer deftly handling the most subtle nuances of Williams's poetic realism. Jessica Tandy's portrayal of Amanda deserves special kudos. The production and direction of the performance are equally engaging. Through the use of sound effects and evocative music, the listener is swept into the troubled, poignant world of these haunting characters. s.l.d. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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Tennessee Williams
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