The Selected Letters of Thornton Wilder

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9780060765071: The Selected Letters of Thornton Wilder
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This volume of more than three hundred letters, selected from some seven thousand gathered around the world, is the first to provide a comprehensive collection of Thornton Wilder's correspondence. Wilder was known as a man who knew everybody, and these letters vividly document the range of his friendships. Readers will find him roller-skating with Walt Disney, attending an inaugural reception for FDR at the White House, describing his life as a soldier in two World Wars, mentoring younger writers, dining out with Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor, and savoring his association with colorful local citizens during his twenty-month stay as a self-styled “hermit” in an Arizona mining town.

Through Wilder's correspondence, readers can eavesdrop on his conversations with Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein. Noël Coward, Max Reinhardt, Gene Tunney, Alexander Woollcott, Laurence Olivier, Ruth Gordon, Garson Kanin, Aaron Copeland, Paul Hindemith, Leonard Bernstein, Edward Albee, and Mia Farrow. Equally absorbing are Wilder's intimate letters to his family.

The author of such classics as Our Town and The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Wilder was a born storyteller and dramatist; we see that talent emerging in scenes and incidental dialogue in his letters. With characteristic exuberance, he draws on his vast reservoir of learning and his incessant reading to inform, encourage, instruct, and entertain. In this collection, Thornton Wilder speaks for himself in his own unique, enduring voice.

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From the Back Cover:

The author of such classics as Our Town and The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder was a born storyteller and dramatist—rare talents on glorious display in this volume of more than three hundred letters he penned to a vast array of famous friends and beloved relatives. Through Wilder's correspondence, readers can eavesdrop on his conversations with Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Noël Coward, Gene Tunney, Laurence Olivier, Aaron Copland, Paul Hindemith, Leonard Bernstein, Edward Albee, and Mia Farrow. Equally absorbing are Wilder's intimate letters to his family.

Wilder tells of roller-skating with Walt Disney, remembers an inaugural reception for FDR at the White House, describes his life as a soldier in two World Wars, and recalls dining out with Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. In these pages, Thornton Wilder speaks for himself in his own unique, enduring voice—informing, encouraging, instructing, and entertaining with his characteristic wit, heart, and exuberance.

About the Author:

Thornton Wilder (1897-1975) was an accomplished novelist and playwright whose works, exploring the connection between the commonplace and cosmic dimensions of human experience, continue to be read and produced around the world. His Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of seven novels, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928, as did two of his four full-length dramas, Our Town (1938) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1943). Wilder's The Matchmaker was adapted as the musical Hello, Dolly!. He also enjoyed enormous success with many other forms of the written and spoken word, among them teaching, acting, the opera, and films. (His screenplay for Hitchcock's Shadow of Doubt [1943] remains a classic psycho-thriller to this day.) Wilder's many honors include the Gold Medal for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the National Book Committee's Medal for Literature.

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9780060765088: The Selected Letters of Thornton Wilder

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ISBN 10:  0060765089 ISBN 13:  9780060765088
Publisher: Harper Perennial, 2009
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