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The Kindness Of Strangers: The Life Of Tennessee Williams

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  120 ratings  ·  7 reviews
This is the first complete, critical biography of Tennessee Williams (1911–1983), one of America's finest playwrights and the author of (among many important works) The Glass Menagerie, Summer and Smoke, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly Last Summer, and The Night of the Iguana. Award-winning biographer Donald Spoto gives us not only a full and accu ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 22nd 1997 by Da Capo Press
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Brad Hodges
This year is the centennial of the birth of Tennessee Williams. For my birthday I got a copy of the two-volume Library of America complete works, and I'm going to try to make my way through it. Of course I've read or seen, either on stage or the film adaptations, most of his major works, but the man was astoundingly prolific.

To get started, I thought I'd read a biography to get my bearings. Donald Spoto, who is a biographer best known for writing about film and theater celebrities such as Alfred
...more
Richard Jespers
Biography of Tennessee Williams. Harrowing. His life after 1960 was all downhill in spite of great wealth (perhaps because of it). He drank and drugged himself to death like Hemingway, like Fitzgerald, like Capote, like Inge . . . . [Read TW's Notesbooks to get his own confessions about the matter.]
Mary Ann
This seems searingly honest without being catty or glib. A fascinating look into the life of one of my favorite writers.
Cass
It's depressing to read a biography about a man who overdoses. About 2/3 of the way in, the story was getting pretty bleak. It wasn't totally the authors fault, I mean, you can't change history. But the way he wrote some things, "That was the last time that Tennessee was happy..." gave you little to look forward to in the coming chapters.
Overall, I feel like I learned lot about my hero, from intimate details to professional accomplishments. I want to pick up his plays and re-read them in this n
...more
Monte Dutton
It's a book I likely wouldn't have read had my mother not picked it up at a yard sale. It's a wonderful biography, capturing this brilliant, flawed man in all his glory and ignominy. Tennessee Williams' story is so sad, but his sadness was what made his plays compelling and his doom inevitable. He never could move past the tortures of his own life, and as he descended into addiction and decline, he lost his coherence. His was a grand life nonetheless, and the author captures it all brilliantly.
Sean Lovelace
Tennessee Williams swam, then got his writing done, then moved to sex and drugs. There is a lesson here. Get the writing done first.

Carole
Excellent bio of Williams.
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A prolific and respected biographer and theologian, Donald Spoto is the author of twenty published books, among them bestselling biographies of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Alfred Hitchcock, Tennessee Williams, and Ingrid Bergman. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Donald Spoto earned his Ph.D. in theology at Fordham University. After years as a theology professor, he t ...more
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