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About Thornton Wilder
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Author, Thornton Wilder - 1950 AKG London
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Thornton Wilder

About Thornton Wilder

An Interview with Thornton Wilder

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Thornton Niven Wilder was born in Wisconsin, USA, in 1897, and spent about two and a half years of his early life in Shanghai where his father was Consul-General. He returned to California, graduated from Yale, and then spent a year at the American Academy in Rome. From this experience came his first novel, The Cabala, published in 1926. He taught French and was a housemaster of Lawrenceville School, a boys' preparatory school in New Jersey, and for six years taught English at the University of Chicago. During the war Thornton Wilder worked in the Intelligence Branch of the US Army Air Force and served in North Africa and Italy. In 1950-51 he held the post of C. E. Norton Professor at Harvard.

The year 1927 saw publication of The Bridge of San Luis Rey, which established Thornton Wilder as one of the leading novelists of the twentieth-century. His novels include: The Woman of Adros (1930), Heaven's My Destination (1935), and The Ides of March (1948). Among his plays, Our Town (1938) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1942) were both awarded the Pulitzer Prize; he also published The Merchant of Yonkers (1938) and two volumes of short plays, The Angel that Troubled the Waters (1928) and The Long Christmas Dinner (1931) and two of his plays, The Matchmaker (1954) and A Life in the Sun (1955), were first performed at the Edinburgh Festival. Three Plays was published in 1958, and Plays for Bleecker Street in 1962. In 1967 he published The Eighth Day, his first novel for twenty years, which won the National Book Award in 1968. Thornton Wilder died in December 1975.

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Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
National Book Award

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Author Image: Thornton Wilder - 1950 AKG London