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Thornton Wilder

The Eighth Day, Theophilus North, Autobiographical Writings (LOA #224) (Library of America Thornton Wider Edition #3)

Thornton Wilder, J. D. McClatchy (Editor)


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"The best thing he ever wrote," observed Edmund Wilson of Thornton Wilder's National Book Award winner The Eighth Day (1967), an enthralling novel that shows Wilder revisiting the small-town America of Our Town to fashion a philosophical whodunit. A wrongful conviction for murder and a daring rescue lead to a meditation on justice, destiny, and "the impassioned will," for which "nothing is impossible." Wilder's last novel, the semi-autobiographical Theophilus North (1973), is an affectionate portrait of Newport, Rhode Island, in the 1920s and a playful, valedictory glance at Wilder's young manhood. Completing this volume are three never-before- published reminiscences taken from an unfinished autobiography in which Wilder engagingly recalls his childhood stay at a boarding school in China, his time as an undergraduate at Yale, and the uneasy experience of visiting Salzburg not long before Austria was annexed by the Nazis.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Praise For Thornton Wilder: The Eighth Day, Theophilus North, Autobiographical Writings (LOA #224) (Library of America Thornton Wider Edition #3)

“You have to hand it to a writer willing to attack the big questions head on, and to embed those questions in the story of small-town America, and then surround it all in the grandeur of the grandeur of America, and then abase some of its citizens for venality while others rise to existential heights.” —Harold Augenbraum

Library of America, 9781598531466, 864pp.

Publication Date: February 2, 2012

About the Author

Thornton Wilder (1897-1975) is the only writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and drama.

J. D. McClatchy (1945–2018), volume editor, was the author of many books of poetry and essays, including Plundered Hearts: New and Selected Poems (2014), and the editor of nine Library of America publications. He wrote the libretto for Ned Rorem’s operatic version of Our Town, taught at Yale University, and served as editor of The Yale Review.