Tennessee Williams on His Women, His Writer’s Block, and Whether It All Mattered

…of course. This was a tremendous way to start the day. Congratulations, Mr.Grissom.This is a stellar accomplishment. Seriously, I enjoyed riding along on your journey and meeting you and Tennesee Williams

Longreads

James Grissom | Follies of God: Tennessee Williams and the Women of the Fog | Knopf | March 2015 | 26 minutes (7,038 words)

Below is an excerpt from the book Follies of God, by James Grissom, as recommended by Longreads contributing editor Dana Snitzky. Dana writes:

“James Grissom wrote a letter to Tennessee Williams in 1982, when he was only 20 years old, asking for advice. Tennessee unexpectedly responded, ‘Perhaps you can be of some help to me.’ Ultimately he tasked Grissom with seeking out each of the women (and few men) who had inspired his work—among them Maureen Stapleton, Lillian Gish, Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, and Marlon Brando—so that he could ask them a question: had Tennessee Williams, or his work, ever mattered? This is Grissom’s account of their intense first encounters, in which Tennessee explains his thoughts on writing, writer’s block, and the women he wrote.”

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