Tennessee Williams's America: Homes, Families, Exiles

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Tennessee Williams’s America is the first full-length study of homes, families, and familial exile in the plays of Tennessee Williams. The central argument of this book is that Williams’s vision of American life in his plays is predicated upon challenging the traditional idea of the home and family. Throughout his plays, the patriarchal space of the American home and family is shown to victimize and oppress two of society’s most marginalized groups: women and queer people, whose experiences often mirror and intersect with each other’s. From his earliest plays, such as Candles to the Sun and Fugitive Kind, to the masterpieces of his major phase including Battle of Angels/Orpheus Descending, The Rose Tattoo, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Period of Adjustment, Suddenly Last Summer, and Sweet Bird of Youth, through to the much maligned but equally rich works of his late period such as Vieux Carré and Something Cloudy, Something Clear, Williams depicts the home as a place which restricts and suffocates those who fail to perform their expected gender role in the wider patriarchal framework of American life. In its extended, full-length treatment of homes, families, and familial exiles in his theatrical output, this book adds a new perspective to existing Williams scholarship by examining the desperate and, at times, futile search for love, relationality, and belonging that his marginalized and alienated characters frequently pursue in alternative avenues of existence.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 11 Apr 2025

Publication series

NameStudies in Twentieth-Century Literature
PublisherRoutledge (Taylor & Francis)

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