The Great American Play

578 Words2 Pages
Thornton Niven Wilder was born on April 17, 1897 in Madison, Wisconsin to Amos Parker Wilder and Isabella Niven Wilder. The Wilder children grew to see success. Amos Wilder, Thornton’s older brother, became a Hollis Professor of Divinity at the Harvard Divinity School, an American poet, a founder in the field of theopoetics, as well as a nationally ranked tennis player. Charlotte Wilder made her success as an American poet. Janet Wilder Dakin, the youngest sibling of Thornton, received a Ph.D. in zoology and became a zoologist as well as a philanthropist. Thornton was noted at an early age for his intelligence and was unfortunately teased during his childhood. He would seek sanctuary in his schools’ libraries and would write plays. Eventually, he received an education from the universities of Yale and Princeton. Afterwards, Thornton became an accomplished novelist and playwright. Wilder’s works probe the connection between “the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of human experience”. In 1926, Wilder had his first novel, The Cabala, published. However, his commercial success was earned from the publishment of The Bridge of San Luis Rey which scored Thornton his first Pulitzer Prize in 1928. Wilder continued to contribute to the theatrical, literary and film worlds by publishing translations, opera librettos, play scripts as well as screenplays. He also advanced his fame and career by acting, lecturing as well as teaching. He was awarded many honors including the Gold
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