The Tennessee Williams Annual Review 2018

Number 17

The Historic New Orleans Collection 2018
softcover • 6" x 9" • 192 pp.
3 color images, 14 b/w images
ISSN 1097-6035

Available from The Shop at The Collection for $15

The Tennessee Williams Annual Review is excited to announce the first appearance in print of Williams’s “Provisional Film Story Treatment of The Gentleman Caller (First Title),” a revealing precursor to The Glass Menagerie. Housed in THNOC’s Fred W. Todd Tennessee Williams Collection, the 19-page typescript—part screenplay, part plot summary, sprinkled with suggested camera shots and providing different endings for stage and screen—spotlights Glass Menagerie’s missing father, Tom Wingfield Sr., who takes center stage here as gentleman caller, come to court Blue Mountain’s reigning southern belle.

In the essays that follow, Naghmeh Rezaie unpacks the Iranian director Bahram Tavakoli’s 2011 film Here without Me, an adaptation of The Glass Menagerie in which a 21st-century Tehran family grapples with pressures similar to those plaguing Williams’s mid-20th-century St. Louis family. Barbara Neri pulls the thread of references to the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning to place Blanche DuBois in a history of love poetry stretching back to Dante and Petrarch, and Henry I. Schvey finds Williams using D. H. Lawrence to explore relations among physicality, sexuality, intellect, and instinct.

Williams’s experimental work features prominently in essays by Alison Walls, who charts the use of martyr figures in the playwright’s exploration of desire, suffering, and the quest for the divine, and by R. Barton Palmer, who unearths Period of Adjustment’s debt to Noël Coward and the role played by competing pressures of economics and audience expectations.

Tiffany Gilbert opens the issue’s review section with an examination of three recent scholarly books, in which she tracks the playwright’s fearless engagement with culturally and legally risky themes. Finally, Annette J. Saddik offers insightful analysis of Grand Guignol: The Brother and Sister Play, a 2017 production created by Lee Breuer and Maude Mitchell from the works of Williams and Mary Shelley.


Founded by Robert Bray in 1998 and now edited by R. Barton Palmer, the Review remains the only regularly published journal dedicated to the work and influence of this preeminent American playwright. For details on submitting work for publication, please consult the submission guidelines.