The Cabala and the Woman of Andros

The Cabala and the Woman of Andros Cover

The Cabala and the Woman of Andros

By Thornton Wilder

HarperCollins Publishers, Paperback, 9780060518578, 257pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2007


Featuring an illuminating new foreword by Penelope Niven and a revealing afterword by Tappan Wilder, this reissue of two early books by Thornton Wilder reintroduces the reader to the author's first novel, The Cabala, and to The Woman of Andros, one of the inspirations for his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Our Town.

A young American student spends a year in the exotic world of post-World War I Rome. While there, he experiences firsthand the waning days of a secret community (a "cabala") of decaying royalty, a great cardinal of the Roman Church, and an assortment of memorable American ex-pats. The Cabala, a semiautobiographical novel of unforgettable characters and human passions, launched Wilder's career as a celebrated storyteller and dramatist.

The Woman of Andros, Wilder's best-selling novel, published in 1930, is set on the obscure Greek island of Brynos before the birth of Christ, and explores Everyman questions of what is precious about life and how we live, love, and die. Eight years later, Wilder would pose the same questions on the stage in a play titled Our Town, also set in an obscure location, this time a village in New Hampshire. The Woman of Andros is celebrated for some of the most beautiful writing in American literature.