Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

“Oriflamme” by Tennessee Williams


As she looked at the closet with its garments for winter, so appropriately descended from the backs of sheep, it occurred to her that revolution begins in putting on bright colors.


You’ll find “Oriflamme” in the collection Eight Mortal Ladies Possessed: FIC WILLIAMS

This little story morphed itself into two of Tennessee Williams more famous works, the short play The Yellow Bird and eventually the full length Summer and Smoke. It follows a nameless woman as she rises from her sickbed out into a brilliant spring day in St. Louis. She means to buy a bright red dress to fit the new season and her new mood.

It’s just a beautiful tale, full of little insights, clever lines, and striking images. But it’s also got all the emotional depth of one of Williams plays, as the protagonist’s sudden, shining vitality is matched by the knowledge of her illness.

Perfect spring reading, even if it does insist on reminding us of our mortality and all.

Review by Matthew

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This entry was posted on May 9, 2015 by in Book Review, Fiction, Saturday Shorts, Short Stories.
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