Book Recommendation: The Magic Tower and Other One-Act Plays


The Magic Tower and Other One-Act Plays is a collection of fifteen short plays by Tennessee Williams, with a foreword by Terrence McNally and edits by Thomas Keith. Seven of the plays were unpublished before the collection came out. The plays span 44 years, from 1936 to 1980, allowing the reader to see how Williams’ style changed over the years. This collection is really great for anyone who enjoys plays, but I would very highly recommend this collection to someone who is familiar with William’s plays and style of writing. Knowing the author makes the reading even more engrossing, and allows you to easily draw parallels between his plays and appreciate each piece of work. Some of the collection’s best pieces include Interior: Panic, the antecedent to A Streetcar Named Desire, and The Magic Tower, the piece after which the collection is named.While not every play is Williams’ best work, there is definitely something special about each one. Most of the plays have common themes of loneliness, love, and personal tragedy, each presented with a certain twist for each play that keeps them from being repetitive and boring. If you read this and enjoy it, check out the other collections from New Directions, including 27 Wagons Full of Cotton and Other Plays and Mister Paradise and Other One-Act Plays.


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