Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder

Easton Press Thornton Wilder books

The Matchmaker: A Farce in Four Acts - 1990
The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 1990
Our Town: A Play in Three Acts - The Collector's Library of Famous Editions - 1991

Franklin Library Thornton Wilder books

The Alcestiad - Limited First Edition Society - 1977
Three Plays by Thornton Wilder - Greatest Books of the Twentieth Century - 1979
Three Stories by Thornton Wilder - Collected Stories of the World's Greatest Writers - 1980
Plays by Thornton Wilder - 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature - 1980
Our Town and the Skin of Our Teeth - Pulitzer Prize Classics - 1983
The Bridge San Luis Rey - Pulitzer Prize Classics -1985

Writer Thornton Wilder

Thornton Niven Wilder, born on April 17, 1897, in Madison, Wisconsin, was a renowned American playwright and novelist whose works have left an indelible mark on the landscape of American literature and theater. Raised in a family deeply immersed in intellectual pursuits and the arts, Wilder's upbringing laid the foundation for his later creative endeavors.

After graduating from Yale University in 1920, Wilder embarked on a prolific literary career that would span several decades. His early works, including novels such as The Cabala (1926) and The Bridge of San Luis Re (1927), garnered critical acclaim for their innovative narrative structures and philosophical themes. It was The Bridge of San Luis Rey, in particular, that catapulted Wilder to literary fame, earning him the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1928. However, it was in the realm of theater that Wilder would truly make his mark as a playwright of unparalleled skill and vision. In 1938, he achieved widespread recognition with the production of Our Town, a poignant and profoundly moving exploration of life, love, and mortality set in the fictional town of Grover's Corners, New Hampshire. With its minimalist staging and timeless themes, Our Town remains one of the most performed and beloved plays in the American theatrical canon, earning Wilder his second Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1938. Wilder further solidified his reputation as a master of the stage with works such as The Skin of Our Teeth (1942), a sprawling allegorical epic that explores the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity, and The Matchmaker (1954), a farcical comedy that served as the basis for the hit musical Hello, Dolly! Wilder's plays were characterized by their innovative narrative techniques, profound insight into the human condition, and a deep sense of empathy and compassion for his characters.

Beyond his achievements in literature and theater, Wilder was also a dedicated teacher and mentor, serving as a professor of playwriting and literature at various universities throughout his career. His influence on subsequent generations of writers and playwrights cannot be overstated, as his works continue to inspire and resonate with audiences around the world. Thornton Wilder passed away on December 7, 1975, at the age of 78, leaving behind a rich legacy of literary and theatrical masterpieces that continue to captivate and move audiences to this day. His ability to capture the beauty and complexity of the human experience with honesty, humor, and grace ensures that his works will be cherished for generations to come, cementing his status as one of the preeminent figures in American literature and theater.

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