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.
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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  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.
Jackson R. Bryer is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Maryland. He is the coeditor of Selected Letters of Eugene O'Neill and of Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
Robin G. Wilder is an independent scholar with a Ph.D. in history who specializes in archival research. She is the niece by marriage of Thornton Wilder and knew him well.