Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Thornton Niven Wilder  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1897 in Madison, Wisconsin

-- The Thornton Wilder Society --
-- Wikipedia --
-- Thornton Niven Wilder on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Thornton lived in Chicago from 1930 - 1936 while he lectured on literature for the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Thornton Wilder is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and novelist. His plays are performed all over the United States. His best known work is his play Our Town.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Cabala, The Bridge of San Luis Ray, The Woman of Andros

Franklin Library. 1980

The Woman of Andros
ISBN: 0766198723

Kessinger Publishing. 2005

1930. American writer and playwright, he is best known for the Pulitzer Prize awarded his play Our Town in 1938. His second novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928. The first part of this novel is based upon the Andria, a comedy of Terence who in turn based his work upon two Greek plays, now lost to us, by Menander. The Woman of Andros reflected Wilder's understanding of the classics. In the character of Chrysis the author created his archetype of of the virtue of hope. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.

Heaven's My Destination
ISBN: 0380003317

Avon Books. 1984

Meet George Marvin Brush - Don Quixote come to Main Street in the Great Depression, and one of Thornton Wilder's most memorable characters. George Brush, a traveling textbook salesman, is a fervent religious convert who is determined to lead a good life. With sad and sometimes hilarious consequences, his travels take him through smoking cars, bawdy houses, banks, and campgrounds from Texas to Illinois - and into the soul of America itself.



Theophilus North
ISBN: 3100920155

Harper & Row. 1973

The nine different career interests of Theo emerge in his adult life as he ventures and tests his moxie in Newport. Archeologist, detective, lover, actor, rascal all support the entertainment in this hilarious, and tender mystery.

Our Town: A Play in Three Acts
ISBN: 0573613494

Samuel French, Inc.. 2010

Drama / 17m, 7f, extras / Bare Stage In an important publishing event, Samuel French, in cooperation with the Thornton Wilder estate is pleased to release the playwright's definitive version of Our Town. This edition of the play differs only slightly from previous acting editions, yet it presents the version of Our Town as Thornton Wilder wished it performed. Described by Edward Albee as "...the greatest American play ever written," the story follows the small town of Grover's Corners through three acts: "Daily Life," "Love and Marriage," and "Death and Eternity." Narrated by a stage manager and performed with minimal props and sets, audiences follow the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry, and eventually-in one of the most famous scenes in American theatre-die. Thornton Wilder's final word on how he wanted his play performed is an invaluable addition to the American stage and to the libraries of theatre lovers internationally. "While all of Wilder's work is intelligent, non-synthetic and often moving, as well as funny, it is Our Town that makes the difference. It is probably the finest play ever written by an American." - Edward Albee "Thornton Wilder's masterpiece...An immortal tale of small town morality [and]...a classic of soft spoken theater." - The New York Times


  • Pulitzer Prize, 1928 for ''Bridge of San Luis Rey''
  • National Book Committee Medal for Literature, 1965