Eccentricities of a Nightingale

ISBN-10: 0822203499

ISBN-13: 9780822203490

Edition: N/A

Authors: Tennessee Williams

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Description:

THE STORY: The action takes place in Glorious Hill, Mississippi, shortly before the First World War. Alma Winemiller, a sensitive and lonely young woman, has become increasingly restive and disturbed by the fear that she will remain a spinster. Hemmed in by her stern minister father, and her deranged mother, she makes a final, and almost desperate attempt to win the man of her choice—a young doctor whose social-climbing mother frowns on his attachment to Alma. The play centers on the complex relationship between these two; her touching attempts to sway his emotions; and his uncertainty as to where his heart should lead him. In the end there is to be only one truly beautiful moment between them—for neither can break the ties of family and position which draw them apart and which, inevitably, defeat Alma's hopes for a new and fuller life.
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Book details

List price: $9.00
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/1/1977
Binding: Paperback
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.330
Language: English

After O'Neill, Williams is perhaps the best dramatist the United States has yet produced. Born in his grandfather's rectory in Columbus, Mississippi, Williams and his family later moved to St. Louis. There Williams endured many bad years caused by the abuse of his father and his own anguish over his introverted sister, who was later permanently institutionalized. Williams attended the University of Missouri, and, after time out to clerk for a shoe company and for his own mental breakdown, also attended Washington University of St. Louis and the University of Iowa, from which he graduated in 1938. Williams began to write plays in 1935. During 1943 he spent six months as a contract screenwriter for MGM but produced only one script, The Gentleman Caller. When MGM rejected it, Williams turned it into his first major success, The Glass Menagerie (1945). In this intensely autobiographical play, Williams dramatizes the story of Amanda, who dreams of restoring her lost past by finding a gentleman caller for her crippled daughter, and of Amanda's son Tom, who longs to escape from the responsibility of supporting his mother and sister. After The Glass Menagerie,Williams wrote his masterpiece, A Streetcar Named Desire, (1947), along with a steady stream of other plays, among them such major works as Summer and Smoke(1948), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1954), and Suddenly Last Summer (1958). His plays celebrate the "fugitive kind," the sensitive outcasts whose outsider status allows them to perceive the horror of the world and who often give additional witness to that horror by becoming its victims. Stephen S. Stanton has summed up Williams's "virtues and strengths" as "a genius for portraiture, particularly of women, a sensitive ear for dialogue and the rhythms of natural speech, a comic talent often manifesting itself in "black comedy,' and a genuine theatrical flair exhibited in telling stage effects attained through lighting, costume, music, and movements." After The Night of the Iguana (1961), Williams continued to write profusely---and constantly to revise his work---but it became more difficult to get productions of his plays and, if they were produced, to win critical or popular acclaim for them. Williams won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for these two and for The Glass Menagerie and The Night of the Iguana.

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