Cover image for The Tennessee Williams encyclopedia
The Tennessee Williams encyclopedia
Kolin, Philip C.
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xxix, 350 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3545.I5365 Z459 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



Tennessee Williams is synonymous with 20th-century theatre. For nearly half a century, he wrote plays that transformed stages and amazed audiences around the world. This reference is a comprehensive guide to his life and works. Included are roughly 160 alphabetically arranged entries on topics related to Williams and his writings. Individual entries treat his works, his family members and acquaintances, places central to his writings, and such topics as music, race, religion, art, and politics. Entries cite works for further reading and are written by expert contributors, and the encyclopedia closes with a selected, general bibliography.

Through roughly 160 alphabetically arranged entries, the encyclopedia identifies major figures in his life; names his characters and specifies their significance; summarizes his plays, stories, and poems; discusses his sources and publications; provides performance histories; and surveys important film adaptations. Entries are written by expert contributors and cite works for further reading, while the encyclopedia concludes with primary and secondary bibliographies.

Author Notes

PHILIP C. KOLIN is Professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi. His many books include Confronting Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire (Greenwood, 1993), Tennessee Williams: A Guide to Research and Performance (Greenwood, 1998) and The Tennessee Williams Encyclopedia (Greenwood, 2004).

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

0 Here is a much-needed resource of a modern playwright who has contributed so much to stages and audiences around the world. The volume contains more than 150 entries, written by 56 scholars and arranged alphabetically, from playwright Edward Albee, who shared similar themes in his plays, to the play You Touched Me!0 Williams' only dramatic collaboration. The volume also provides a detailed preface about the book's format, followed by an alphabetical list of entries and a guide to related topics, arranged by broad categories, such as 0 "Family and Early History," "Theater and Films," and "Works." A detailed chronology of Williams' key accomplishments and associations completes the front matter. A list of primary and secondary sources and a detailed index complete the book. Though the encyclopedia covers biographical details and major figures in Williams' life, emphasis is on the plays. Play entries generally provide background information, plot summary, interpretation, and performance history, including adaptations, along with comparisons to other of Williams' works. For 0 example , Camino Real0 is compared with The0 Glass Menagerie0 and A Streetcar Named Desire.0 The essays vary in length from one paragraph (such as for Alpha Tau0 Omega,0 his fraternity), to seven pages each on The Glass Menagerie0 and A Streetcar Named Desire.0 Each signed entry ends with a list of further reading suggestions. The encyclopedia is an excellent resource for English and theater teachers and students. Though it is not comprehensive, it does provide the researcher with basic information on Williams' works and life. This is a worthwhile purchase for academic, large public, and some high-school libraries. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

Choice Review

Kolin (Univ. of Southern Mississippi) promises that students, teachers, and fans of The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, and other popular Williams plays will find "the most essential information" in this first encyclopedic guide to the great American playwright. They will, and they discover much more besides. Kolin and a roster of other prominent Williams scholars provide approximately 160 entries on individuals, places, works, and concepts of special significance in Williams's life and career. Entries are alphabetical, from dramatist Edward Albee to Williams's "frequently overlooked" comedy You Touched Me!. Felicia Hardison Londre wrote the masterful six-page entry on Williams himself, and appends to it a short bibliography. This reviewer cannot imagine a more engaging or more useful reference resource for students and scholars of Williams. For example, the entry on the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity alludes to a raid by revenue agents, Williams's participation in a cross-country race, and the fraternity brothers who became characters in his plays. The volume includes a chronology, photographs, an excellent index, and "Guide to Related Topics," which groups entries under such headings as "Theater and Films." ^BSumming Up: Essential. All libraries, academic and public. J. W. Hall University of Mississippi

Table of Contents

Alphabetical List of Entries
Guide to Related Topics
Chronology Entries
Bibliography of Primary Sources
Bibliography of Secondary Sources
About the Editors and Contributors