Tennessee Williams: The Night of the Iguana.
On March 26, 1911, Thomas Lanier Williams is born in Columbus, Mississippi. He's the second child and first son of Cornelius Coffin Williams, and Edwina Dakin Williams. Tennessee's father is a traveling shoe salesman, and due to his frequent absences, his mother and sister Rose live with his maternal grandparents Reverend and Walter E. Dakin in the rectory of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. (Falk 22-23) .
When Tom was three a nearly fatal attack of diphtheria leaves Tom an invalid for almost two years, during which time he relies heavily on the life of the imagination, fueled by the attentions of his mother, grandmother, sister, and Ozzie. Ozzie is a black nursemaid and teller of supernatural tales, who lives with family until Tom is six. (Leverich 72).
At the age of eleven, Tom's mother buys him a second-hand typewriter. He begins writing stories as a "compensation" for his discovery of snobbery in "middle .
American life." When he was fifteen he won five dollars for his entry in an essay contest, "Can a Good Wife be a Good Sport?" The next month he wins ten dollar from Loew's State Theatre in St. Louis for the best review of the movie "Stella Dallas". In that same year he writes "The Vengeance of Nitocris" his fist published story, for which he is paid thirty-five dollars. (Spoto 44-52).
Williams enters the University of Missouri, Columbia in 1929 at age eighteen. That year he wrote his first play "Beauty is the world", and wins honorable mention in the University of Missouri dramatic arts contest. In his junior year in college he fails ROTC, and his father refuse to allow him to return there that fall. From years 1931 till 1935 he works daytime in the Continental Shoemakers branch of International Shoe Company for sixty-five dollars a month, and he spends his nights writing stories. (Spoto 62-67).
In the summer of 1935 the garden players of the Rose Arbor Theater in Memphis produce his play, "Cairo! Shanghai! Bombay!" In 1937 he entered University of Iowa and graduated the following year.