Edited by David Kaplan, Tenn at One Hundred is the first comprehensive look at the reputation of Tennessee Williams, America's greatest playwright. Being published in 2011 on the occasion of Tennessee Williams centennial year, Tenn at One Hundred takes a behind the scenes look at how reputations are made. It's a collection of the leading Williams advocates who had something to say, and wanted to say it this year, and in this forum. The book is a must for anyone curious about how American icons are built up, then publicly attacked, and then, rarely given the time, begin to assert their own worth as has happened with Tennessee Williams.
Best known for the groundbreaking plays, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams began his writing career in the 1930s as a struggling and unknown poet. At the time of his death in 1983, he was the most produced playwright in the country and at the same time one of the most despised and ridiculed American writers. What were the events and decisions that brought Tennessee Williams to these contradictory extremes of reputation? How did Tennessee Williams come to be known as one the most scandalous writers of the post-war era while he was also lauded as America s poet of human heart? Tenn at One Hundred explores the man and his legacy: the plays, films, reviews, talent, tenacity, good fortune, bad timing, friends, addictions, critics, producers, publishers, directors, actors, and biographers that helped to shape Tennessee Williams' critical reputation and iconic status in the popular imagination over the past seventy years.