||Tennessee Williams’s Notebooks, here published for the first time, presents by turns a passionate, whimsical, movingly lyrical, self-reflective, and completely uninhibited record of the life of this monumental American genius from 1936 to 1981. In these pages Williams (1911–1983) wrote out his most private thoughts; reflected on his plays, stories, and poems; and gave accounts of his social, professional, and sexual encounters. The notebooks are the repository of Williams’s fears, obsessions, passions, and contradictions. They served as his companions throughout his solitary journey and form possibly the most spontaneous self-portrait by any writer in American history.Meticulously edited and annotated by Margaret Bradham Thornton, the notebooks follow Williams’s growth as a writer from his undergraduate days to the publication and production of his most famous plays, from his drug addiction and drunkenness to the heights of his literary accomplishments. At one point, Williams writes, “My next play will be simple, direct and terrible – a picture of my own heart – there will be no artifice in it – I will speak truth as I see it – distort as I see distortion – be wild as I am wild – tender as I am tender – mad as I am mad – passionate as I am passionate – It will be myself without concealment or evasion and with a fearless unashamed frontal assault upon life that will leave no room for trepidation.” This remarkable record of the life of Tennessee Williams is about writing—how his writing came up like a pure, underground stream through the often unhappy chaos of his life to become a memorable and permanent contribution to world literature.