Tennessee Williams: The Crafting of a Writer

Interview with Tennessee Williams
Conducted by James Grissom
New Orleans

A writer is crafted from biography and biology. My roots as a writer are directly related to having been a queer from birth, and then abused from a very early age. I sought refuge in alternate realities, because my own was so hateful, untenable. This begins in play-acting, doll-playing, writing down what one has. This is insufficient, so I began living in the movie houses--palaces they were then--and I crafted those narratives onto my own life. Then I began to read--novels, plays, everything. Eventually, this salad of intentions and diversions make a writer. But movies are essential to me, and the primary source of all I know of narrative. Read everything, but see as much as you can of film, past and present. If you meet a movie star, well, the pinata has exploded in your sad, little life.

© 2016 James Grissom


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