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Senior: 11 & 12: Unit 2: A Streetcar Named Desire

Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) was born in Columbus, Mississippi. 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 received a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1940 for his play Battle of Angels, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 and 1955.

The Guardian: Tennessee Williams: the quiet revolutionary
When Streetcar was first seen in London in 1949, in a production directed by Laurence Olivier and starring Vivien Leigh, Williams was viewed as a kind of filthy American sleaze-merchant. The confrontation of Blanche Dubois and Stanley Kowalski sent the British press into a frenzy.

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