John Lahr has won the eighth annual Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography for Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh.
The book was described at the prizegiving ceremony by panel member Michael Simkins as the “definitive biography” of Tennessee Williams.
John Lahr said, “You don’t write books for prizes, but it’s amazing how thrilling it is to win the acknowledgement because the whole enterprise is so solitary, and there are so many good writers – it’s a huge honour.”
Nola.com article on John Lahr and MAD PILGRIMAGE OF THE FLESH
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MARCH 2015: John Lahr receives more accolades for MAD PILGRIMAGE OF THE FLESH – winner of the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award for best biography, winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award for recognition of “the quality of prose style”.
‘Lahr creates a book worthy of its title: It is a living celebration of theater itself.’
– Caryn James, New York Times
‘John Lahr writes beautifully about the theatre and those who make it with an unrivalled blend of enthusiasm, perception and analytical precision. This book is justly titled; his joy is irresistible.’
– Nicholas Hytner
‘100 years from now this is where people will look to see what it was like back then. Bravo!’
– John Guare
‘We’re on the cusp of rehearsals for “Hamilton”, and reading your intimate profiles of these playwrights gives me immeasurable courage and heart.
I’m in your debt.’
– Lin-Manuel Miranda
‘Former New Yorker drama critic John Lahr (“Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh”) spotlights more brilliantly neurotic theater personalities in his latest incisive exhuberant collection from the magazine…Lahr’s reportage, trenchant insight, and infectious love of the stage will remind readers of how exciting modern theater can be.’
– Publisher’s Weekly, June 22, 2015
‘Mr. Lahr patiently mines the essence of his subjects–playwrights, directors–with the affection of a fan, the insight of a confidante, and the authorial flair of an experienced critic. The effect is often delicious. Lahr’s work for the New Yorker offers something of lasting value. A delight
– The Economist
Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh named as a finalist for the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award.
John Lahr appears on THEATRE TALK, interviewed by Michael Reidel on MAD PILGRIMAGE OF THE FLESH.
Tennessee Wiiliams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh picked amongst the best books of the year in: The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Financial Times, the Kirkus Service, Publishers Weekly
‘With her smoky voice and Southern accent, Elizabeth Ashley is the perfect narrator for this “warts and all” biography of one of America’s most treasured literary icons. Ashley is no stranger to the works of Tennessee Williams–she starred in the 1974 Broadway revival of CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. With poise and sensitivity she reflects the penetrating insights, lashing humor, and shattering anger that Williams expressed in his many letters and memoirs, which are liberally quoted throughout, covering everything from his troubled relationship with his father to his binge drinking, open homosexuality, and, most important of all, his absolute, untiring dedicating to the craft of writing. Ashley is unsparing and loving in her reading, and Williams would have expected nothing less.’
B.P. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine [Published: NOVEMBER 2014]
Latest: John Lahr nominated as a finalist for the National Book Award and listed as one of the ‘Best 20 Books of 2014 by Publishers Weekly, for Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh.
KQED Radio, about Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh
John Lahr talked to Nicholas Hytner about Tennessee Williams and Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, National Theatre Platforms, September 22
New York Times
A Playwright Named Desire: The Battle for Art and Sanity
John Lahr’s Biography of Tennessee Williams
Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh US tour
More details here
BBC Radio Four’s Book of the Week
Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh has been selected as BBC Radio Four’s Book of the Week beginning September 22. Read by Damian Lewis
UK (Bloomsbury) September 11, 2014
US (Norton): September 22, 2014
Abridged and entire edition to be read by Elizabeth Ashley, the definitive “Maggie the Cat” and Williams’s friend
A five city American publicity tour (LA, SF, Chicago, Boston and NYC), September 22-October 14