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April 17

Thornton Wilder

Wilder considered himself a writer above all, but he also enjoyed performing in his plays, taking parts like Mr. Antrobus in The Skin of Our Teeth and the Stage Manager in Our Town.

Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-42494

1897: An American Wordsmith
Thornton Wilder is born in Madison, Wisconsin
His works are read and his plays performed around the world, but when Thornton Wilder started writing stories as a kid, he never dreamt he’d be an icon of American literature one day. While his seminal three-act play Our Town is arguably his best-loved work, with its timeless depiction of life and loss in the small town of Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, other plays including The Skin of Our Teeth and the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey are also literary classics (all three works netted Wilder Pulitzer Prizes for Literature).

He also revisited and tinkered with old works from time to time. For example, he reworked his play The Merchant of Yonkers into The Matchmaker, which in 1964 hit the Broadway stage as Hello Dolly!, running for 2,844 performances.
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