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Long lost Tennessee Williams story finally sees the light of day

By Daniel S Levine,

As we get ready to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Tennessee Williams’ iconic The Glass Menagerie, a new story from one of the giants of American literature is finally being made public. Crazy Night, a short story, has been published in the new issue of The Strand magazine.

A 14-page manuscript for the story was discovered by Andrew F. Gulli, the magazine’s managing editor, at the University of Texas at Austin's Harry Ransom Center, reports CNN. He found it among a “treasure trove” of Williams documents there.

Gulli thought it may have been published, but some Williams experts had never heard of Crazy Night. It is a semi-autobiographical story, written long before Williams would strike gold with hits like A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in the ‘40s and ‘50s.

“I thought it was captivating," Gulli told CNN. "It's raw but has a fresh voice and shows a great deal of maturity for his age.”

According to The Associated Press, the story is about a college freshman’s romance with Anna Jean. The character shares the name of Anna Jean O'Donnell, a girl Williams dated while attending the University of Missouri at Columbia.

“The funny thing is that Williams in his notebooks and memoirs went into a lot of detail about his love affairs but with Anna Jean he made only a passing mention,” Gulli told the AP. “Could this be the missing piece of the puzzle?”

Williams, who died in 1983, is still one of the most revered figures in American literature and his plays are still performed. There was just another revival of The Glass Menagerie on Broadway recently.

 
 

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