Memoirs
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Memoirs

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  439 ratings  ·  46 reviews
For the "old crocodile," as Williams called himself late in life, the past was always present, and so it is with his continual shifting and intermingling of times, places, and memories as he weaves this story.

When Memoirs was first published in 1975, it created quite a bit of turbulence in the media—though long self-identified as a gay man, Williams' candor about his love...more
334 pages
Published 1976 by Bantam Books (first published 1973)
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Brian
Trashy, tragic sweetness, went down very smoothly but made me a little sad in spots, most likely in a similar way to the cocktail barbituate combos he became famous for downing. The man is endlessly fascinating and, regardless of his addictions - and there were many, was still phenomenally talented.
شادي  عبد العزيز
لا شك في حيوية تنيسي ويليامز التي لا تقل هولاً عن صراحته

إلا أن السيرة أجمل في ثلثها الأول وفصلها الأخير، أما ما عدا ذلك فتفاصيل علاقات شخصية أقرب للنميمة، يمكن أن تكون ممتعة لمن على دراية أو اتصال بالحياة الفنية الأمريكية، ويمكن (حلبها) أحياناً للخروج بخلاصة ممتعة تجعلها أقرب للنقاط الثلاثة.

كذلك، فالسيرة تشجع على تجربة ويليامز مرة أخرى في مسرحيات مكتوبة أو في روايته (الربيع الروماني للسيدة ستون)

كعادة أسامة منزلجي في ترجماته، الترجمة لا يمكن وصفها بالخطأ، وإن كان من الصعب وصفها بالجمال، وكالعادة:...more
Joe
Williams' Memoirs is a beautiful attempt to capture the complex nature of one's self and one's art. In a stream-of-consciousness/free-associative style Tennessee opens up about his experiences, and focuses on his loves and losses. He is a true connoisseur of written English, and knows exactly when to embellish or to back off, all for the sake of drama. In Memoirs, he takes his skill and deconstructs his life, giving the reader a look into who created some of the greatest theatrical pieces in the...more
Michael
"People please, if you have never read Tennessee Williams' Memoirs, run yourself a warm bath, turn off all your appliances, pour yourself a glass or wine and...treat...your...self!"

This was a fascinating portrait of not only a truly unique and complex individual, but of a time lost in America - that of the bohemian. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the theatre and writing but you may be disappointed by the lack of actual insight to his writing and his process. This is more of a re...more
Alexander Arsov
Tennessee Williams

Memoirs

New Directions, Paperback, [2006].

8vo. xix+274 pp. Foreword by TW [xv-xix]. Introduction by John Waters [ix-xiv]. Afterword by Allean Hale [pp. 253-254]. Illustrated with 144 photographs.

First published by Doubleday, 1975.
First published in paperback by New Directions, 2006.

Contents

Introduction by John Waters
Foreword by Tennessee Williams

Memoirs

Afterword by Allean Hale
List of Illustrations
Index

====================================================

This book comes together w...more
Kaitlyn Barrett
Sigh. Disappointing book, this one.

I would expect from Mr. Williams a book of profound depth about the art of writing, storytelling and the theatre or a book of juicy stories about famous people and scandalous goings on.

This book is neither.

Mr. Williams specifically writes that he didn’t want to write a book about writing because while he’s happy to air his personal laundry, his writing life and his work habits are very personal and not for public consumption. I’d be fine with that if the writi...more
Kara
Simultaneously reading the bible and war and peace was making me seriously consider the upsides of functional illiteracy. Based on the juxtaposition alone between these texts I liked this novel, but it has merit in and of itself. I don’t usually read memoirs but I assumed that the life of the person who wrote a streetcar named desire had to be interesting- and generally speaking, it was. Nothing overtly profound was written but it seemed like a candid revealing conversation- predominately about...more
Jonathan
This was the first memoir I ever read, while I was at school. It opened a whole new world to me, because at the time (mid-1980s) I just didn't think a gay man would write an open account of his life. How wrong I was, and utterly relieved that someone with the stature of Tennessee Williams could be this revelatory about himself. He edited certain aspects out, unknown to me at the time, and played around with the truth somewhat, but that doesn't stop this being a wonderful, funny, sad and inspirat...more
Isla McKetta
There are many different types of memoirs and this belongs more closely to the tell-all than those with a thematic arc. Although he shifts wildly backward and forward in time and I hardly knew who anyone was, Williams's voice captivated me and I was interested in his story. He writes little about writing, but the story of the effect an artist can have on the people around him is instructive. It either degrades at the end or I was ready to be finished. Still, I am glad I read it and now I want to...more
Annette
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ray Stickle
A stream-of-consciousness telling of a life: "Do you think that I have told you my life story? I have told you the events of my life, and described as best I could, without legal repercussions, the dramatis personae of it. But life is made up of moment-to-moment occurrences in the nerves and the perceptions, and try as you may, you can't commit them to the actualities of your own history." This is the story of a life told by a Tennessee Williams who is near the end of his own life. There are fon...more
Erika
I loved this book, but then I love Tennessee Williams. It's a very candid look into his personal life that helped shape his work, rather than the work itself. It can be sporadic at times, it jumps from the present to past several times in a chapter, but it comes across as if you are sitting in the room with him as he is reminiscing about his life. For any fan, it is a must read.
Liz Thompson
I have a copy of this book with John Waters' signature--who did the introduction--inside the front flap of the book. This was the main focus of last year's Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans, which was overrun by harlots, tramps, cross-dressers, queers, no-goods, wanderers, and little old white southern ladies. Where else can one find such a diverse crowd?
Nathan
this was real good, but...i had tennessee way up on a pedestal and then when i read his memoirs i was sort of disappointed about the way he talks about people and things...like sex (he was a ho i think) and other things. but it was probably good for me to be disillusioned. i still like him.
Monty
Livewire, intense ramble through Williams early life - his loves, drinking and stories are to the fore as is tragedy and real sadness.
Very honest, and bitingly funny and cruel. Loved it all..
Nina
I first became interested in Tennessee Williams when I saw the movie A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). I was struck by how lyrically eloquent several of the lines were. The writer really captured sentiment, characters, life very well. So, I read the play. Then, I wanted to know the background of this fellow who had such a gift for writing, so I picked up this book. I have read it twice now and each time I learn something new. Since he is such a brilliant writer, he could not help, of course, but...more
Paul
The author himself within these pages repeatedly notes what’s lacking from these Memoirs is a discussion of any trade secrets of his genius and bedeviled writing, that whether seen on stage, screen or page, has a searing impression – but inside this almost stream of conscious recount of the playwright’s the conditions of his existence are certainly given an airing, revealing a carnal and psychological and psychotropic recipe, dizzyingly reason enough for his success. Tennessee boozes, drugs, and...more
Andreea  Piturca
Great book. Honest, direct and with a sense of humor. It provides a window into the heart and mind of this talented playwright. Tennessee Williams does not hide his flaws from the reader. He presents himself with all his weaknesses and
strengths, with all all his flaws and qualities, all wrapped in self irony. A roller coaster of emotions and one of my favorite books.
Kennyo
I first read this when it was published in 1975. After reading his memoir I became far more receptive to Williams' work. Rereading it with a few more decades of life under my belt has exposed some of its weakness but I feel that it stands up well.

One should appreciate that this is a memoir and not a treatise.
David
I have never seen any play or movie that Tennessee Williams wrote but the candid details in his memoirs are very lively. He writes as if he is writing journal entries and they are loosely chronological. He does not reveal very much about his internal world but more reports events that took place- especially the men with whom he was romantic. It is illuminating to learn how he manages a gay life style during such a homophobic time. His bohemian relationships and travels kept the book entertaining...more
Madara Sniedze Meļņika
Ir tādi autori, kuru nedrīkst iepazīt pareizi, tradicionāli.
Tādiem no sākuma ir jānoskatās teātra izrāde, tad memuārus.
Un tad ir jāsaprot - jā, viņš ir traks, viņš ir lielisks, viņš ir...neparasts, nepareizs, ideāls.
Un tikai tad ir jāsāk lasīt gan par brīdinājumiem, gan ilgām.

Kā teikts pēcvārdā, šajā grāmatā Tenesijs vairāk atvēra savu bikšu priekšu kā sirdi. Negribēja jau runāt par darbiem, runāja par Dzīvi. Un mainīja arī manu attieksmi pret to pagājušajā gadā. Dullāk, trakāk...pareizāk. Patie...more
Jason Poorman
I don't have a lot of experience reading memoirs, but I do know that I enjoyed this book tremendously. (Of course I'm going to be biased, because TW is my favorite playwright.)

This memoir is sometimes aloof and sometimes achingly personal. There are many hilarious moments, but there are also moments of profound sadness. I've given this book four stars instead of five, because I wish Williams would have discussed his craft more than he did. But I think his goal was probably to sell as many copie...more
Thirstyicon
I learned Tenn caused quite a bit of talk when this book was published. He's quite open (for the time) about cruising, his love life, etc. I would recommend this book if you are interested in hearing stories about his real life. The oddest thing about this memoir is that he doesn't really talk about his plays very much. He also doesn't talk about the movies; yet there are plenty of pictures. He does talk about the actors in his plays: Marlon Brando, Ann Meachum; and he mentions Paul Newman.

In th...more
Alicia
I love Tennessee Williams' plays but I was inspired to read "Memoirs" because of the snippets from it that John Waters included in "Role Models." And, needless to say, Waters didn't steer me wrong. This book was juicy and honest and hilarious. Tennessee Williams is as intriguing as his work. Though he was admittedly high all the time at the time this book was written and published, I think he was extremely lucid. At least, in the ways that count. I couldn't help reading lines from this out loud...more
Jane Mcneil
This book is not about writing. It's about life with mental illness and what results from coping with it with writing. He was a tortured soul, but he had talent and it sustained him for most of his life until the bitter end. What you will glean from this book is the sacrifice for art. Nothing more, nothing less. It's typical of a literary genius who cannot find rest. One would have to consider if he would have been happier without success and fame and the right medical treatment, but then we wou...more
Kimmo
Williams had an interesting and colourful life but I'm afraid I still don't think he was much of a writer. Perhaps his work would have been more interesting if he hadn't been so enamored with naive psychoanalytic notions, which seemed to have greatly contributed to his bleak and somehow tediously predictable and stereotyped view of human nature. I mean, honestly, was there ever a playwright who was more formulaic in his characterizations, or more pretentious in his moral attitudes?
Katie
Although I did not expect Mr. Williams colloquial and blunt language (as his stage directions are much more formal), it allowed him to connect on a deeper level with me as a reader. He conversed with me, rather than talking down to me. I have been a fan of Williams since I was first exposed to Streetcar, and am now even more eager to continue reading his work.
Tosh
Just like other certain indivduals who are born with the 'it' factor, Williams had "it" in spades. He truly must have been a great person to know at the local bar. This is a fantastic memoir by one of the great playwrights, but beyond that it is the man's personality that comes through these pages. Funny, funny, and hysterical.
jmbadia
M'esperava trobar un llibre que poc o molt parlés del món del teatre. Malauradament només és un llistat interminable de trobades sexuals, viatges i laments autocomplaents.
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Thomas Lanier Williams III, better known by the nickname Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright of the twentieth century who received many of the top theatrical awards for his work. He moved to New Orleans in 1939 and changed his name to "Tennessee," the state of his father's birth. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof...more
More about Tennessee Williams...
A Streetcar Named Desire The Glass Menagerie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Suddenly Last Summer The Night of the Iguana (Acting Edition)

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“Time doesn't take away from friendship, nor does separation.” 661 likes
“Since that day, when people have spoken to me of "genius", I have felt the inside pocket to make sure my wallet's still there.” 9 likes
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