John Guare, Peggy L. Fox, and Thomas Keith
These newly published letters chronicle the forty year friendship between the playwritght Tennessee Williams and James Laughlin, founder of New Directions. Join us for a conversation about the letters compiled for a new publication The Luck of Friendship: The Letters of Tennessee Williams and James Laughlin and what they reveal about one of literature’s most enduring friendships, with Peggy L. Fox, former president and publisher of New Directions, and Thomas Keith, Consulting Editor for New Directions, moderated by award winning playwright John Guare, author of Six Degrees of Separation and The House of Blue Leaves among other works.
The exhibition Tennessee Williams: No Refuge but Writing will open at 5:30 pm for program attendees.
“A sparkling collection of thirty-five years of letters between Tennessee Williams and the remarkable poet/publisher James Laughlin, whom Tennessee called his ‘literary conscience’ and his greatest and most trusted friend. Because Tennessee and Laughlin were both wildly peripatetic, their paths rarely crossed, ensuring that their bond would live in their correspondence. The Luck of Friendship shows us a rare side of Tennessee in his interactions with that rarest of individuals, James Laughlin.”—John Guare, author of Six Degrees of Separation
“Reading these letters revealed a Tennessee Williams I had never known before. Certainly not in his fabulous, fantastical plays, his tortured memoirs or the Southern Gothic biographies. Instead of being a character in one of his own plays, this Tennessee is a practical and dedicated man of the theatre, an uncompromising artist and a loving and loyal friend. I have never felt closer to a fellow playwright. Tennessee, we hardly knew you!”—Terrence McNally, author of Master Class