A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

Book rating: 04 Paperback Modern Classics (Penguin)

By (author) Tennessee Williams, Introduction by Arthur Miller

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  • Format: Paperback | 128 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 196mm x 14mm | 60g
  • Publication date: 2 September 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141190272
  • ISBN 13: 9780141190273
  • Sales rank: 1,196

Product description

Fading southern belle Blanche Dubois depends on the kindness of strangers and is adrift in the modern world. When she arrives to stay with her sister Stella in a crowded, boisterous corner of New Orleans, her delusions of grandeur bring her into conflict with Stella's crude, brutish husband Stanley. Eventually their violent collision course causes Blanche's fragile sense of identity to crumble, threatening to destroy her sanity and her one chance of happiness.

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Author information

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), 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).

Customer reviews

By Elena 09 Sep 2010 4

Tennessee Williams explores, once again, the complexities of women in this thrilling and deep drama.

Blanche DuBois takes a break from her life and pays a visit to her sister Stella and her husband in New Orleans. There, Blanche will deal not only with her own problems but also with her sister's marital troubles and what the early 20th century society regarded as "proper" for both single and married women.

With a fierce social critique, Williams manages to create one of the best and most interesting female characters of the last century, comparable only to other great literary heroins such as Lady Chatterley and Madame Bovary. In fact, the greatness of this character has recently attracted the attention of two Academy Award-winning actresses (Rachel Weisz and Cate Blanchett) who could not help to portrait the brilliant Blanche in two different productions, in London and in NYC.

"A Streetcar Named Desire" makes an amazing and deep, yet easy, reading not only for women but anyone interested in good literature, classic works, drama or, to put it simply, life in general.

Review quote

Lyrical and poetic and human and heartbreaking and memorable and funny.--Francis Ford Coppola