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The luck of friendship : the letters of Tennessee Williams and James Laughlin

by Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983,

Format: Print Book 2018
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PS3545.I5365 Z48 2018
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PS3545.I5365 Z48 2018
Oakmont Carnegie Library Non-Fiction 812.54 WIL
Location  Oakmont Carnegie Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  812.54 WIL

Four decades of correspondence of Tennessee Williams's and James Laughlin's unlikely yet enduring literary and personal relationship.

In December 1942, two guests at a Lincoln Kirstein mixer bonded over their shared love of Hart Crane's poetry. Thomas Lanier Williams, who had just started to go by "Tennessee," was a young playwright literally making a name for himself. James Laughlin had all of six years of publishing experience under his belt as the founder of New Directions. The deep friendship struck that evening would last for forty-one years, through critical acclaim and rejection, commercial success and failure, manic highs, bouts of depression, and serious and not-so-serious liaisons.

Williams called Laughlin his "literary conscience," and New Directions serves to this day as Williams's publisher, not only for The Glass Menagerie and his other plays but also for his highly acclaimed novels, short stories, and poetry. Their letters provide a window into the literary history of the mid-twentieth century and reveal the struggles of a great artist, supported by the publisher he considered his one true friend.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "This collection of correspondence between Tennessee Williams and his primary publisher, New Directions founder James Laughlin, provides a remarkable window onto a literary friendship. While the letters, written between December 1942 and October 1982, contain their share of publishing shoptalk, what emerges most strongly is a genuinely close bond. For example, responding to Williams's claim of physical and nervous exhaustion after completing his play The Rose Tattoo, Laughlin advises: "Don't think of yourself as a literary figure, and try to see what others see in you. Just go on living your life by your own standards, which are the right ones for you, and write what comes." The letters document, incidentally, Williams's wanderlust-Key West and Rome are among his frequent mailing addresses-and relationships with Truman Capote, Elia Kazan, and Carson McCullers, among other famous names mentioned in the letters. But the book's greatest value lies in capturing the lifelong conversation these two men shared, one that clearly nurtured Williams and helped him continue in the face of professional setbacks. As Williams wrote to Laughlin in 1978, in a letter which sums up the collection, "Very briefly and truly, I want to say this. You're the greatest friend that I have had in my life, and the most trusted." (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Series James Laughlin selected letters series
Subjects Williams, Tennessee, -- 1911-1983 -- Correspondence.
Laughlin, James, -- 1914-1997 -- Correspondence.
Dramatists, American -- 20th century -- Correspondence.
Publishers and publishing -- United States -- Correspondence.
Authors and publishers -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Personal correspondence.
Publisher New York :2018
Edition First edition.
Other Titles Correspondence.
Contributors Laughlin, James, 1914-1997, author.
Fox, Peggy L., editor.
Keith, Thomas, 1961- editor.
Language English
Description xl, 392 pages ; 25 cm.
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9780393246209
Other Classic View