This book shocked and disappointed many upon its release in 1975. Many were expecting something resembling a predictable literary auto-biography, though, with the authors notorious history and reputation, should have been prepared for what they got instead. This is a fascinating book about and by the man many called genius, the author of "A Streetcar Named Desire", "The Glass Menagerie", "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof", "Sweet Bird Of Youth", "Night Of The Iguana", etc..., and the events in his life that help one better understand just how autobiographical many of his works were. From his upbringing by a tyrannical, indifferent father, who was disappointed in his "sissy" son, his overbearing mother, and his relationship with his lifelong, deepest love, his sister Rose, whose tragic mental illness and lobotomy froze her in time, and perhaps was the most important factor in his troubled life and his creative genius. He was all too human, in his relationships and insecurities. He exposes himself, warts and all, at once being an extremely sensitive, caring human being, who at other times in his life, could turn into an irrational, paranoid, abusive chore to be around. Substance abuse certainly played a major part in his progressive personal and professional demise, and he is brutally honest about that also. He is also unapologetic about the many promiscuous periods of his life, the bluntness of his recounting of sexual escapades usually so humorously told, that it defuses what could have been just vulgar bad taste, to some. His 14 year love relationship with Frank Merlo, who died of cancer in the early 1960's, was, aside from Rose, the most important relationship of his life. Though he and Merlo were estranged towards the end of Merlos life, then had a reconciliation just prior to his death, Tennessee was to never recover from the loss. He also tells about the beginning of his career, and certain pivitol moments in his professional life when, before fame and praise came, it was doubtful that the poor, struggling writer might ever find success. There are also wonderful first hand insights into his contact with the likes of Brando, Anna Magnani, Capote, to name a few. But, admittedly, this book is more about the man than the career. He readily concedes that he is not about to bore himself and some readers to death with chronological descriptions about the fruition of each play. As he says here: "The plays, what about them? If this was a book only about my plays, it would be a very short book. The plays speak for themselves". In fact, there is nothing chronological about this book. It was published about ten years before his tragic death, a period in his life that , after a brilliant career with successive hits, was marked by professional failure, the progression of which was publicly recorded by ,what many perceived to be, unusually aggressive critics who were intent on destroying him personally. If you're looking for a standard auto-bio of a literary career, you may be disappointed. But you also may enjoy, as I did, this wonderfully touching and often humourous book by a sad, troubled, brilliant human being, who battled with his demons his whole life, trying to give a voice to the lonely, the outcast, the misunderstood...the "gentle people", as he referred to them. We are all contradictory, perhaps those the Gods touch with genius more so than others. It's the totality of a life that matters, and the total sum of his life was that he tried his damndest to be a GOOD MAN. An honest man. And, he also created some of the most brilliant works, with some of the most memorable characters, speaking some of the most beautiful words, in the history of theater. Don't judge dear Tennessee too harshly.