Notebooks by Tennessee Williams

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Synopsis

Tennessee Williams’s Notebooks, here published for the first time, presents by turns a passionate, whimsical, movingly lyrical, self-reflective, and completely uninhibited record of the life of this monumental American genius from 1936 to 1981, the year of his death. In these pages Williams (1911-1981) wrote out his most private thoughts as well as sketches of plays, poems, and accounts of his social, professional, and sexual encounters. The notebooks are the repository of Williams’s fears, obsessions, passions, and contradictions, and they form possibly the most spontaneous self-portrait by any writer in American history.
Meticulously edited and annotated by Margaret Thornton, the notebooks follow Williams’ growth as a writer from his undergraduate days to the publication and production of his most famous plays, from his drug addiction and drunkenness to the heights of his literary accomplishments. At one point, Williams writes, “I feel dull and disinterested in the literary line. Dr. Heller bores me with all his erudite discussion of literature. Writing is just writing! Why all the fuss about it?” This remarkable record of the life of Tennessee Williams is about writing—how his writing came up like a pure, underground stream through the often unhappy chaos of his life to become a memorable and permanent contribution to world literature.
 

About Tennessee Williams

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Margaret Bradham Thornton is a writer and independent scholar based in Bedminster, New Jersey.
 
Published January 30, 2007 by Yale University Press. 856 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Notebooks

The New York Times

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Tennessee Williams’s notebooks offer a candid look at his loneliness, insecurity and inspiring determination.

Mar 04 2007 | Read Full Review of Notebooks

The Guardian

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Buy it from Buy the CD Download as MP3 Various The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams Sony Music 2011 Tell us what you think: Rate and review this album ...

Oct 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Notebooks

The Guardian

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Notebooks by Tennessee Williams Yale £27.50, pp784 Literary egos dilate to fill up the yawning spaces of America.

Feb 18 2007 | Read Full Review of Notebooks

BC Books

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The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams was a flashpoint of controversy for some country music fans, but I honestly don’t see what all the fuss was about.

Jan 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Notebooks

The Washington Post

After Hank Williams’s death in 1953, his song notebooks disappeared into the vaults.

Sep 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Notebooks

The Telegraph

The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams, curated by Bob Dylan, uses an A-list of singer-songwriters to evoke Williams' mournful palette of blues and folky laments.

Sep 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Notebooks

Express

FANS of country legend Hank Williams, country music in general or even just a great song will get a lot from this compilation that sees contemporary artists from the country scene and beyond record Williams songs that have never been recorded before.

Sep 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Notebooks

PopMatters

The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams is exactly what its name suggests—songs taken from the songwriter’s notebooks, left behind in a briefcase and vaulted for the next 50-some-odd years.

Oct 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Notebooks

The New Yorker

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Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Notebooks

LA Times

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Holly Williams, the granddaughter of Williams, Sr., turns in a heartfelt “Blue Is My Heart,” though her father’s bloated baritone in the background almost threatens the song’s delicate balance.

Oct 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Notebooks

Rolling Stone

Using Hank Williams' lyrics notebooks to imagine songs he never finished, The Lost Notebooks turns a vaguely necrophiliac idea into a startling reincarnation.

Oct 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Notebooks

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