Thornton Wilder Theophilus North

ISBN 13: 9780062414786

Theophilus North

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9780062414786: Theophilus North

This reissued edition of the classic novel by Pulitzer Prize-winner Thornton Wilder is the last of the author’s works and features an updated Afterword by his nephew, Tappan Wilder, as well as additional material.

The last of Wilder's works published during his lifetime, this novel is part autobiographical and part the imagined adventure of his twin brother who died at birth. Setting out to see the world in the summer of 1926, Theophilus North gets as far as Newport, Rhode Island, before his car breaks down. To support himself, Theophilus takes jobs in the elegant mansions along Ocean Drive, just as Wilder himself did in the same decade. Soon the young man finds himself playing the roles of tutor, spy, confidant, lover, friend, and enemy as he becomes entangled in the intrigues of both upstairs and downstairs in a glittering society dominated by leisure.

Narrated by the elderly North from a distance of fifty years, Theophilus North is a fascinating commentary on youth and education from the vantage point of age, and deftly displays Wilder's trademark wit juxtaposed with his lively and timeless ruminations on what really matters about life, love, and work at the end of the day—even after a visit to Newport.

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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.

Review:

Novel by Thornton Wilder, published in 1973. The last work published during Wilder's lifetime, it has striking parallels to his own life experiences and may be considered a fictionalized memoir of Wilder's idealized artistic and philosophical life. A first-person reminiscence of life among the rich at Newport, R.I., during the summer of 1926, the novel is narrated by the elderly North from a distance of 50 years. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

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