REVIEWS

Some recent reviews of Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh

‘This witty, moving, ferociously intelligent study of the great, troubled
playwright’s personal and creative paths and how they intersected, is
essential reading for theater fans.’
USA Today

‘The book is a triumph’
Nick Hytner

Nobody will be able to write another biography of Tennessee Williams after this, because it  puts the D in definitive.’
John Waters

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh is a remarkable read. It has all the hefty research you’d expect from a scholarly work, yet the story is told through prose fit for a great novel.’
Paul Dervis, Artsfuse. 
read the full review here

‘John Lahr’s magnificent biography…gathers material from a vast array of sources, including Williams’s diaries, poems, letters and the recollections of countless friends and colleagues,to trace how the personal and the creative lives interweave throughout the whole span of Williams’s oeuvre. The result is at once sensitive and magisterial, and it fulfils the ultimate test for a literary biography by convincing you that the works cannot be understood without it. Once you have read it, it becomes part of their meaning.’
John Carey, lead review, Sunday London Times

‘This is by far the best book ever written about America’s greatest playwright. John Lahr, the longtime drama critic for the New Yorker, knows his way around Broadway better than anyone. He is a witty and elegant stylist, a scrupulous researcher, a passionate yet canny advocate… Hebrings us as close to Williams as we are ever likely to get..’
Wall Street Journal

‘John Lahr’s magnificent “Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh” is one of the best written and most extraordinary biographies I’ve ever read, in any field…It will go down as a literary classic. America’s best playwright deserves no less.’
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

‘John Lahr’s “Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh” is the finest literary biography I have read in years.  Moreover, it’s a model of what should be done by other writers: comprehensive; brilliantly interpretative of the playwrights’ many, many works; analytical, where necessary; and, finally, insightful into the complicated psyche of his subject… I was constantly surprised by Lahr’s original interpretations of so many of the works that I assumed I had fully understood.’
Charles R. Larson, Counterpunch

‘An amazing achievement. By far the best full biography of Tennessee Williams ever published.’
Kenneth Holditch, co-editor, Library of America’s Plays of Tennessee Williams

‘John Lahr invests the Tennessee Williams of this brilliant new biography with the same vitality and honesty that the playwright used to bring his characters to life. Lahr’s feel for Williams’s literary creations and for Williams himself show a perspicacity wanting in previous biographies…His achievement is not likely to be surpassed.’
Publisher’s Weekly

‘There is only one word for this biography: superb’
Kirkus Reviews

‘Splendid beyond words. It would be hard to imagine a more satisfying biography.’
Bill Bryson

‘A splendid book, one of the finest critical biographies of a playwright extant.’
Robert Brustein, Drama critic, The New Republic

‘This is a masterpiece about a genius. Only John Lahr, with his perceptions about the theater, about writers, about poetry and about people could have written this book. What a marvelous read, with brilliantly detailed research.’
Helen Mirren

‘Could this be the best theater book I’ve ever read? It just might be. Tennessee Williams had two great pieces of luck. Elia Kazan to direct his work and now John Lahr to make thrilling sense of his life’
John Guare, author of Six Degrees of Separation, House of Blue LeavesAtlantic City

‘John Lahr’s brilliant and seamless book, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh is a labor of the profoundest love, and it comes from the heart and mind of one of our greatest theatre writers.’
Andre Bishop, Artistic director of Lincoln Center Repertory Theatre

‘Swear-to-god, it’s the most original, insightful, thrilling biography I’ve ever read!’
Elizabeth Ashley

‘A MAGNIFICENT work. Mesmerizing, illuminating and heartbreaking.’
Andre Gregory, director, My Dinner with Andre, Vanya on 42nd Street, Alice in Wonderland.

‘Unsurpassable. An eloquent, spellbinding narrative that emerges as an instant classic.’
Ron Chernow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of George Washington: A LifeThe House of MorganAlexander Hamilton.

‘John Lahr has delivered that rare thing: a critical biography worthy of its subject… As full of insight and overview as it is of memorable offstage detail.’
Jeremy Gerard, Deadline.com

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