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Other titles in the New Directions Paperbook series:
New Directions Paperbook #409: Sweet Bird of Youth
Synopses & Reviews
The acclaimed classic in a new edition, now with an insightful new introduction, the author's original foreword, and the one-act play, The Enemy: Time, on which Sweet Bird of Youth was based.
Sometime actor and full-time male hustler Chance Wayne returns to the Gulf Coast town of St. Cloud in an attempt to retrieve his lost innocence by reuniting with his high school girlfriend, Heavenly Finley. But Chance arrives there with his current employer, the drug-addicted, over-the- hill movie star, Alexandra Del Lago, who uses Chance, teaches him to use others, and doesn't intend to let him go. Chance learns that when he left St. Cloud years before, he left Heavenly with a crippling venereal disease. Heavenly's brother and her father—the powerful Boss Finley, a politician who has been responsible for local lynchings—have marked Chance as "a criminal degenerate" and plan to castrate him. Williams knew how to tell a good tale, and this gritty and wrenching play also reveals the dark side of the American dreams of youth and fame by implicating small town injustice, systemic racism, and the depth of suffering that results from personal and public corruption.
About the Author
Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) is one of the most acclaimed playwrights of the twentieth century. New Directions publishes his letters, short stories, poems, fiction, memoir, essays and over sixty of his plays including The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Camino Real, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending, and The Night of the Iguana. Lanford Wilson is the New York Drama Critics Circle and Tony Award-winning author of Hot L Baltimore, The Fifth of July, The Mound Builders, Burn This, and the libretto for an opera of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke. Wilson won the Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for Talley's Folly.
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