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A Streetcar Named Desire and Other Plays: "Sweet Bird of Youth"; "A Streetcar Named Desire"; "The Glass Menagerie" (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 24 Feb 2000

4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New edition edition (24 Feb. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141182563
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141182568
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More 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). Tennessee Williams died in 1983.

Image reproduced Courtesy of New Directions Pubilshing.


Product Description

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).


Inside This Book

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First Sentence
A bedroom of an old-fashioned but still fashionable hotel somewhere along the Gulf Coast in a town called St Cloud. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book provides readers with a very accessible introduction to the works of Tennessee Williams. Not only does it include the very well know plays "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "The Glass Menagerie" but also "Sweet Bird of Youth" and "A play of four parts".
The fact that there are four plays means that the reader can gain not only a knowledge of the individual plays, but also a feel for Williams' style of writing. This makes it an indispensible tool for anybody studying Tennessee Williams' work as part of their studies or indeed recreationally.
A good feature of the book is the way it introduces each play to the reader. By including detailed forewards and background information (including details of the authors personal life at the time of writing) the first reading of the play becomes much more rewarding.
The plays themselves are entertaining and insightful. In Each play Williams' tells a story of seemingly ordinary folk, and then introduces the reader/audience to whats going on in their minds. By the clever use of different stage techniques and sharp observations Tennessee Williams presents us with a collection of wonderfully enjoyable and atmostpheric plays. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The copy delivered wasn't of the condition I expected but World Books sorted this out without delay. Great service. I have used them before and this is the first time I wasn't totally happy but the service given has been exemplary.

The book is one that my daughter is studying and I'm hoping that she'll let me have a gander when she has finished with it.
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Format: Paperback
Arguably Tennessee Williams' best loved and most popular play, 'A Streetcar Named Desire' is guaranteed to grip you from start to finish.

Set in 1950s New Orleans, the highly pretentious Miss Blanche Dubois visits her sister and brother-in-law, Stella and Stanley Kowalski. Blanche, "virtuous", sensitive and 'moth-like' is a cultured antithesis of Stanley with his overt sensuality and primal behaviour, providing the audience with a wonderful drama of emotions.

Williams cleverly unravels Blanche's shocking history through Stanley, whose determined investigations reveal her past mistakes from her inability to receive closure from her young husband's death. The delightful use of explicit and precise stage directions results in a fantastic array of tension-building music, dramatic irony and intricately inter-woven symbolism.

The eleven scenes span over a long period of time, condensing the play into major dramatic events which intensify the emotions of both the characters and the audience. This is futher affirmed by the small set - the tiny apartment bespeaks confinement, accentuating the emotional density and the power and menace of Stanley's physical presence.

As the loss of literature, language, music and culture (everything that Blanche epitomises) is replaced with desire and lust, Blanche slowly 'fades' into her illusions; unable to cope with a changing world and ultimately losing her grip on sanity altogether.

Peter Shaffer wrote of Williams: "He could not write a dull scene." I could not agree more; 'A Streetcar Named Desire' is rightfully one of the best pieces of modern American literature as it will undoubtably be remembered, discussed and enjoyed for years to come.

Emma Stimson, A-level student.
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I would definitely recommend this product, especially to someone doing A-Level English literature, as it holds a good selection of plays.
In great condition, and delivered very quickly, and I would definitely buy from the seller again.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The outside of the book is clearly used and a little tattered. However inside the pages are clean and neat just as if the book was new.
Good deal worth a buy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All but one copy were as good condition as advertised and the contents are superb of course.
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Format: Paperback
I studied the play, 'A streetcar named Desire' for A level and found it to be devastatingly truthful about human nature. It shows the profound effect that desire and the need to feel desirable can have.
One of the main characters, 'Stanley' is one of those men that women hate to love, yet feel instictively drawn to, he's strong, masculine and sexy, yet at the same time he is overly opinionated, violent and dominating.
Not the kind of man you 'should' be attracted to, yet so many women find themselves in the position that they are! Why is this? Williams explores the complexities of issues such as this. Loved it!
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