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Cover for The Bridge of San Luis Rey

The Bridge of San Luis Rey

A Novel

Thornton Wilder


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Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (5/4/2020)
Digital Audiobook (1/12/2004)
Paperback (12/7/2021)
Paperback (9/2/2014)
Compact Disc (1/13/2004)
Compact Disc (1/13/2004)
MP3 CD (1/13/2004)
Paperback (4/15/2003)


Thornton Wilder’s classic novel—now available in a limited Olive Edition—features previously unpublished notes and other illuminating documentary material as well as an updated afterword by his nephew, Tappan Wilder, and a foreword by Russell Banks.

"On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below." With this celebrated sentence, one of the towering achievements in American fiction, and a novel read throughout the world, begins.

By fate or chance, a monk has witnessed the collapse. Brother Juniper, moved by the tragedy, embarks on a quest to prove a higher order is at work in the deaths of those who perished. His search leads readers on a timeless investigation into the nature of love and the meaning of the human condition.

Praise For The Bridge of San Luis Rey: A Novel

“One of the greatest-reading novels in [twentieth-century] American writing. . . . Wonderfully lucid reading.” — Edmund Fuller

“A remarkably confident evocation of the secret springs of half a dozen men, women and children. . . . A very beautiful book.” — The Nation

“It is a subtle idea admirably worked out and leaves a vivid impression of society in the golden age of the most aristocratic capital of Latin America. The histories of the five people are told perfectly with sympathy and insight.” — New Statesman

“The essence of Mr. Wilder’s book is really the feeling in it; it is a ‘notation of the heart’ with sympathy. Gaily or sadly, but always with understanding, a belief in the miracle of love runs through it all.” — Times Literary Supplement (London)

“A masterpiece.” — New York Herald Tribune

Harper Perennial, 9780062421104, 128pp.

Publication Date: September 29, 2015

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 [1943] 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.