Wilder Thornton 1897 - 1975 (78)

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.


Our town

Thorthon Wilder (1897-1975) was an American author and playwright, best known for his play "Our Town." His father was a diplomat and grew up in various cities in China, his mother instilled in him and his 4 brothers a love for literature and theater. Thornton studied at Yale, the American School of Archeology in Rome, and Harvard. As a student at Yale, he had the opportunity to study diligently the Greek and Roman classics, the thought of which would later find its place in his most important works. From 1930 to 1951 he taught literature and poetry at the Universities of Chicago and Harvard. During World War II he served as an aviation intelligence officer.

His first play was published in 1920 in the university magazine and his name will be widely known after his award with the Pulitzer Prize for the novel "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" in 1927. The next novel was a success, entitled "The Woman of Andros", in 1930. In between these two works, Wilder published his first theatrical collection with sixteen one-act plays in which allegorical characters discuss issues such as humility, love, faith, responsibility. The whole philosophy of the author is summarized in his leading play "Our Town", one of the most popular in the history of American theater.

Wilder did not start a family, some claimed he was gay, he never talked about it. With the proceeds from his books, he bought a house in Connecticut where his sister stayed for the rest of her life. He used it as a base, but he often was travelling and lived away. He died on December 7, 1975.