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Thornton Niven Wilder (April 17, 1897 – December 7, 1975) was an American playwright and novelist. He won three Pulitzer Prizes—for the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and for the plays Our Town
Our Town
and The Skin of Our Teeth
The Skin of Our Teeth
— and a U.S. National Book Award for the novel The Eighth Day.

Contents

1 Early years 2 Education 3 Career 4 Personal life 5 Death 6 Bibliography

6.1 Plays 6.2 Films 6.3 Novels 6.4 Collections

7 Further reading 8 Footnotes 9 References 10 External links

Early years[edit]

Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
with his two sisters and their father Amos at family cottage in Maple Bluff, Wisconsin
Maple Bluff, Wisconsin
(1900)

Wilder was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Amos Parker Wilder, a newspaper editor[1] and U.S. diplomat, and Isabella Niven Wilder. All of the Wilder children spent part of their childhood in China. His older brother, Amos Niven Wilder, became Hollis Professor of Divinity at the Harvard Divinity School, was a noted poet, and was instrumental in developing the field of theopoetics. His sister, Isabel, was an accomplished writer. Both of his other sisters, Charlotte Wilder, a poet, and Janet Wilder Dakin, a zoologist, attended Mount Holyoke College.[2] Education[edit]

Wilder in his Yale College
Yale College
graduation photo (1920)

Wilder began writing plays while at The Thacher School in Ojai, California, where he did not fit in and was teased by classmates as overly intellectual. According to a classmate, "We left him alone, just left him alone. And he would retire at the library, his hideaway, learning to distance himself from humiliation and indifference." His family lived for a time in China, where his sister Janet was born in 1910. He attended the English China Inland Mission
China Inland Mission
Chefoo School
Chefoo School
at Yantai
Yantai
but returned with his mother and siblings to California in 1912 because of the unstable political conditions in China at the time.[3] Thornton also attended Creekside Middle School in Berkeley, and graduated from Berkeley High School in 1915.[4] After having served a three-month enlistment in the Army's Coast Artillery Corps at Fort Adams, Rhode Island, in World War I
World War I
(rising to the rank of corporal), he attended Oberlin College
Oberlin College
before earning his Bachelor of Arts degree at Yale University
Yale University
in 1920, where he refined his writing skills as a member of the Alpha Delta Phi
Alpha Delta Phi
fraternity, a literary society. He earned his Master of Arts degree in French literature from Princeton University
Princeton University
in 1926.[5] Career[edit] After graduating, Wilder studied in archaeology and Italian in Rome, Italy (1920–21), and then taught French at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey
Lawrenceville, New Jersey
beginning in 1921.[6] His first novel, The Cabala, was published in 1926. In 1927, The Bridge of San Luis Rey brought him commercial success, and his first Pulitzer Prize (1928).[7] He resigned from the Lawrenceville School
Lawrenceville School
in 1928. From 1930 to 1937 he taught at the University of Chicago, during which time he published his translation of André Obey's own adaptation of the tale, "Le Viol de Lucrece" (1931) under the title "Lucrece" (Longmans Green, 1933).[8] In 1938 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Pulitzer Prize for Drama
for his play Our Town, and he won the prize again in 1943 for his play The Skin of Our Teeth.[9] World War II
World War II
saw him rise to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Air Force Intelligence, first in Africa, then in Italy until 1945. He received several awards for his military service.[fn 1] He went on to be a visiting professor at Harvard University, where he served for a year as the Charles Eliot Norton professor. Though he considered himself a teacher first and a writer second, he continued to write all his life, receiving the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 1957 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
in 1963. In 1968 he won the National Book Award for his novel The Eighth Day.[10] Being proficient in four languages,[6] Wilder translated plays by André Obey and Jean-Paul Sartre, and wrote the libretti to two operas, The Long Christmas Dinner, composed by Paul Hindemith, and The Alcestiad, composed by Louise Talma and based on his own play. Also, Alfred Hitchcock, whom he admired, asked him to write the screenplay to his thriller, Shadow of a Doubt.[11] He completed the first draft of the screenplay for Hitchcock.[6] The Bridge of San Luis Rey
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
(1927) tells the story of several unrelated people who happen to be on a bridge in Peru
Peru
when it collapses, killing them. Philosophically, the book explores the question of why unfortunate events occur to people who seem "innocent" or "undeserving". It won the Pulitzer Prize[1] in 1928, and in 1998 it was selected by the editorial board of the American Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of the twentieth century. The book was quoted by British Prime Minister
British Prime Minister
Tony Blair
Tony Blair
during the memorial service for victims of the September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks
in 2001.[12] Since then its popularity has grown enormously. The book is the progenitor of the modern disaster epic in literature and film-making, where a single disaster intertwines the victims, whose lives are then explored by means of flashbacks to events before the disaster.[citation needed]

Frank Craven, Martha Scott
Martha Scott
and John Craven in the original Broadway production of Our Town
Our Town
(1938), winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
for Drama

Wilder wrote Our Town, a popular play (and later film) set in fictional Grover's Corners, New Hampshire. It was inspired by his friend Gertrude Stein's novel The Making of Americans, and many elements of Stein's modernist style can be found in the play. Wilder suffered from writer's block while writing the final act. Our Town employs a choric narrator called the Stage Manager and a minimalist set to underscore the human experience. Wilder played the Stage Manager on Broadway for two weeks and later in summer stock productions. Following the daily lives of the Gibbs and Webb families, as well as the other inhabitants of Grover's Corners, the play illustrates the importance of the universality of the simple, yet meaningful lives of all people in the world in order to demonstrate the value of appreciating life. The play won the 1938 Pulitzer Prize.[13]

Wilder as Mr. Antrobus in The Skin of Our Teeth, 1948

In 1938, Max Reinhardt
Max Reinhardt
directed a Broadway production of The Merchant of Yonkers, which Wilder had adapted from Austrian playwright Johann Nestroy's Einen Jux will er sich machen (1842). It was a failure, closing after 39 performances.[14] His play The Skin of Our Teeth
The Skin of Our Teeth
opened in New York on November 18, 1942, featuring Fredric March
Fredric March
and Tallulah Bankhead. Again, the themes are familiar – the timeless human condition; history as progressive, cyclical, or entropic; literature, philosophy, and religion as the touchstones of civilization. Three acts dramatize the travails of the Antrobus family, allegorizing the alternate history of mankind. It was claimed by Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell
and Henry Morton Robinson, authors of A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake, that much of the play was the result of unacknowledged borrowing from James Joyce's last work.[fn 2][15] In his novel, The Ides of March (1948), dedicated to an anti-fascist Italian writer, Lauro De Bosis, Wilder reflected on parallels between Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
and Julius Caesar. He had met Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre
on a U.S. lecture tour after the war, and was under the influence of existentialism, although rejecting its atheist implications.[16] In 1954, Tyrone Guthrie encouraged Wilder to rework The Merchant of Yonkers into The Matchmaker. This time the play opened in 1955 and enjoyed a healthy Broadway run of 486 performances with Ruth Gordon
Ruth Gordon
in the title role, winning a Tony Award
Tony Award
for Guthrie, its director. It became the basis for the hit 1964 musical Hello, Dolly!, with a book by Michael Stewart and score by Jerry Herman.[17] In 1962 and 1963, Wilder lived twenty months in the small town of Douglas, Arizona, apart from family and friends. There he started his longest novel, The Eighth Day, which went on to win the National Book Award.[10] According to Harold Augenbraum in 2009, it "attack[ed] the big questions head on, ... [embedded] in the story of small-town America".[18] His last novel, Theophilus North, was published in 1973, and made into the film Mr. North
Mr. North
in 1988.[19] The Library of America
Library of America
republished all of Wilder's plays in 2007, together with some of his writings on the theater and the screenplay of Shadow of a Doubt.[20] In 2009, a second volume was released, containing his first five novels, six early stories, and four essays on fiction.[21] Finally, the third and final volume in the Library of America series on Wilder was released in 2011, containing his last two novels The Eighth Day and Theophilus North, as well as four autobiographical sketches.[22] Personal life[edit] Although Wilder never discussed being homosexual publicly or in his writings, his close friend Samuel Steward
Samuel Steward
acknowledged having sexual relations with him.[23] Wilder was introduced to Steward by Gertrude Stein, who at the time regularly corresponded with both of them. The third act of Our Town
Our Town
was allegedly drafted after a long walk, during a brief affair with Steward in Zürich, Switzerland.[24] In Penelope Niven's biography, Thornton Wilder: A Life, she provides considerable epistolary evidence that the third act of "Our Town" was not written in response to any walk, conversation or affair with Samuel Steward
Samuel Steward
but was begun before Wilder ever met Steward and was not finished until several months afterward. Niven also raises doubts about Steward's uncorroborated and unsubstantiated claims of having been Wilder's lover.[25] Wilder had a wide circle of friends and enjoyed mingling with other famous people,[1] including Ernest Hemingway, Russel Wright, Willa Cather and Montgomery Clift.[citation needed] Death[edit] From the earnings of The Bridge of San Luis Rey, in 1930 Wilder built a house for his family in Hamden, Connecticut. His sister Isabel lived there for the rest of her life. This became his home base, although he traveled extensively and lived away for significant periods. He died in that house on 7 December 1975, of heart failure.[6] He was interred at Mount Carmel Cemetery, Hamden, Connecticut.[26] Bibliography[edit] Plays[edit]

The Trumpet Shall Sound (1926) The Angel That Troubled the Waters and Other Plays (1928):[27]

"Nascuntur Poetae" "Proserpina and the Devil" "Fanny Otcott" "Brother Fire" "The Penny That Beauty Spent" "The Angel on the Ship" "The Message and Jehanne" "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" "Centaurs" "Leviathan" "And the Sea Shall Give Up Its Dead" "The Servant's Name Was Malchus" "Mozart and the Gray Steward" "Hast Thou Considered My Servant Job?" "The Flight Into Egypt" "The Angel That Troubled the Waters"

The Long Christmas Dinner
The Long Christmas Dinner
and Other Plays in One Act (1931):

The Long Christmas Dinner Queens of France Pullman Car Hiawatha Love and How to Cure It Such Things Only Happen in Books The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden

Our Town
Our Town
(1938)—won the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
for Drama[13] The Merchant of Yonkers
The Merchant of Yonkers
(1938) The Skin of Our Teeth
The Skin of Our Teeth
(1942)—won the Pulitzer Prize[13] The Matchmaker (1954)—revised from The Merchant of Yonkers The Alcestiad: Or, a Life in the Sun (1955) Childhood (1960) Infancy (1960) Plays for Bleecker Street (1962) The Collected Short Plays of Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
Volume I (1997):

The Long Christmas Dinner Queens of France Pullman Car Hiawatha Love and How to Cure It Such Things Only Happen in Books The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden The Drunken Sisters Bernice The Wreck on the Five-Twenty-Five A Ringing of Doorbells In Shakespeare and the Bible Someone from Assisi Cement Hands Infancy Childhood Youth The Rivers Under the Earth

Films[edit]

Shadow of a Doubt
Shadow of a Doubt
(1943)

Novels[edit]

The Cabala (1926) The Bridge of San Luis Rey
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
(1927)—won the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
for the Novel[7] The Woman of Andros
The Woman of Andros
(1930)—based on Andria, a comedy by Terence Heaven's My Destination (1935) Ides of March (1948) The Eighth Day (1967)—won the National Book Award for Fiction[10] Theophilus North (1973)—reprinted as Mr. North
Mr. North
following the appearance of the film of the same name

Collections[edit]

Wilder, Thornton (2007). McClatchy, J. D., ed. Thornton Wilder, Collected Plays and Writings on Theater. Library of America. 172. New York: Library of America. ISBN 978-1-59853-003-2.  Wilder, Thornton (2009). McClatchy, J. D., ed. Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Other Novels 1926–1948. Library of America. 194. New York: Library of America. ISBN 978-1-59853-045-2.  Wilder, Thornton (2011). McClatchy, J. D., ed. Thornton Wilder, The Eighth Day, Theophilus North, Autobiographical Writings. Library of America. 222. New York: Library of America. ISBN 978-1-59853-146-6. 

Further reading[edit]

Gottlieb, Robert (January 7, 2013). "Man of Letters: The Case of Thornton Wilder". The New Yorker. 88 (42): 71–76. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 

Footnotes[edit]

^ The American Legion of Merit
Legion of Merit
and Bronze Star, Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur
Legion d'Honneur
from France, and an honorary Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) from Britain. ^ Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell
and Henry Morton Robinson published a pair of reviews-cum-denunciations entitled "The Skin of Whose Teeth?" in the Saturday Review immediately after the play's debut; these created a huge uproar at the time. Campbell's Mythic Worlds, Modern Words, Novato, California: New World Library, 2004, pp. 257–266, ISBN 978-1-57731-406-6  reprints the reviews and discusses the controversy.

References[edit]

^ a b c Isherwood, Charles (October 31, 2012). "A Life Captured With Luster Left Intact". The New York Times. p. C1. Retrieved November 1, 2012.  ^ Niven, Penelope (2012). Thornton Wilder: A Life. Harper. pp. 92, 370.  ^ McArdle, Phil (December 17, 2008). " Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
on the South Side of Our Town". The Berkeley Daily Planet.  ^ "Biography". Thornton Wilder. Retrieved 2018-01-10.  ^ "Chronology". Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
Society. Retrieved July 14, 2017.  ^ a b c d Margulies, Donald (1998). Our Town
Our Town
– A Play in Three Acts. HarperPerennial. Foreword and "About The Author" by Margulies. ISBN 978-0-06-051263-7.  ^ a b ""Novel": Past winners & finalists by category". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 28 March 2012.  ^ Siegel, Barbara; Siegel, Scott (May 22, 2000). "Lucrece". TheaterMania.com.  ^ "Drama – The Pulitzer Prizes". Pulitzer. Columbia University. 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.  ^ a b c "National Book Awards – 1968". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 28 March 2012.  (With an essay by Harold Augenbraum from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.) ^ Kornhaber, Donna (2013). "Hitchcock's Diegetic Imagination: Thornton Wilder, Shadow of a Doubt, and Hitchcock's Mise-en-Scène". Clues: A Journal of Detection (31.1): 67–78. doi:10.3172/CLU.31.1.67. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013.  ^ "Text of Tony Blair's reading in New York". The Guardian. London, UK. September 21, 2001. Retrieved June 3, 2009.  ^ a b c "Drama". Past winners & finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 28 March 2012. ^ Niven, Penelope (2012). Thornton Wilder: A Life. Harper. p. 471.  ^ Campbell, Joseph (2005). Pathways to Bliss. Novato, California: New World Library. pp. 121–123. ISBN 978-1-57731-471-4.  ^ Goldstein, Malcolm (1965). The Art of Thornton Wilder. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 19–20. ISBN 978-0-80320-057-9.  ^ "Hello Dolly! - New Wimbledon Theatre (Review)". indielondon.co.uk. March 2008.  ^ Augenbraum, Harold (July 23, 2009). "1968: The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder". National Book Foundation. Retrieved March 28, 2012.  ^ Longsdorf, Amy (November 17, 1988). "With 'Mr. North,' Danny Huston Gets His Bearings As A Director". The Morning Call.  ^ Wilder, Thornton (2007). McClatchy, J. D., ed. Collected Plays and Writings on Theater. New York: Library of America. ISBN 978-1-59853-003-2.  ^ Wilder, Thornton. The Bridge of San Luis Rey
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
and Other Novels 1926–1948. ISBN 978-1-59853-045-2.  ^ Wilder, Thornton (2011). McClatchy, J. D., ed. The Eighth Day, Theophilus North, Autobiographical Writings. New York: Library of America. ISBN 978-1-59853-146-6.  ^ Gottlieb, Robert (7 January 2013). "Man of Letters". The New Yorker. Retrieved 17 June 2017.  ^ Stein, Gertrude; Toklas, Alice B. (1977). Steward, Samuel, ed. Dear Sammy: Letters from Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
& Alice B. Toklas. Houghton Mifflin. p. 32. ISBN 0395253403.  ^ Niven, Penelope (2012). Thornton Wilder: A Life. HarperCollins. pp. 433–437. ISBN 978-0-06083-136-3.  ^ Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons (3rd ed.). McFarland & Company, Inc.  (Kindle Location 50886). ^ "Thornton Wilder: Collected Plays and Writings on Theater". Library of America. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Thornton Wilder

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thornton Wilder.

Official website The Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
Society Richard H. Goldstone (Winter 1956). "Thornton Wilder, The Art of Fiction No. 16". The Paris Review.  "Thornton Wilder". Find a Grave. Retrieved 28 May 2009.  Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Retrieved on 18 May 2009 Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
at the Internet Off-Broadway Database Works by or about Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
at Internet Archive Biography from The Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
Society Today in History, The Library of Congress, April 17

Non-profit organization positions

Preceded by François Mauriac Wartime International Presidential Committee 1941-47 PEN International 1941–1947 Succeeded by Hu Shih

v t e

Thornton Wilder

Plays

The Long Christmas Dinner
The Long Christmas Dinner
(1931) The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden (1931) Our Town
Our Town
(1938) The Merchant of Yonkers
The Merchant of Yonkers
(1938) The Skin of Our Teeth
The Skin of Our Teeth
(1942) The Matchmaker (1954)

Books

The Bridge of San Luis Rey
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
(1927) The Woman of Andros
The Woman of Andros
(1930) Ides of March (1948) The Eighth Day (1967) Theophilus North (1973)

Adaptations

The Bridge of San Luis Rey
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
(1929 film) Our Town
Our Town
(1940 film) The Bridge of San Luis Rey
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
(1944 film) Our Town
Our Town
(1955 TV) The Matchmaker (1958 film) Hello, Dolly! (1964 musical) Our Town
Our Town
(2003 film) The Bridge of San Luis Rey
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
(2004 film) Our Town
Our Town
(2006 opera) OT: Our Town
Our Town
(documentary)

Family

Amos Wilder (brother) Charlotte Wilder (sister) Janet Wilder Dakin (sister)

v t e

Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
for Drama: Authors

Jesse Lynch Williams (1918) Eugene O'Neill
Eugene O'Neill
(1920) Zona Gale
Zona Gale
(1921) Eugene O'Neill
Eugene O'Neill
(1922) Owen Davis
Owen Davis
(1923) Hatcher Hughes (1924) Sidney Howard
Sidney Howard
(1925) George Kelly (1926) Paul Green (1927) Eugene O'Neill
Eugene O'Neill
(1928) Elmer Rice
Elmer Rice
(1929) Marc Connelly
Marc Connelly
(1930) Susan Glaspell
Susan Glaspell
(1931) George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind and Ira Gershwin
Ira Gershwin
(1932) Maxwell Anderson
Maxwell Anderson
(1933) Sidney Kingsley
Sidney Kingsley
(1934) Zoe Akins
Zoe Akins
(1935) Robert E. Sherwood
Robert E. Sherwood
(1936) Moss Hart
Moss Hart
and George S. Kaufman
George S. Kaufman
(1937) Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
(1938) Robert E. Sherwood
Robert E. Sherwood
(1939) William Saroyan
William Saroyan
(1940) Robert E. Sherwood
Robert E. Sherwood
(1941) Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
(1943) Mary Chase (1945) Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay (1946) Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
(1948) Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller
(1949) Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II
Oscar Hammerstein II
and Joshua Logan (1950) Joseph Kramm (1952) William Inge
William Inge
(1953) John Patrick (1954) Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
(1955) Albert Hackett
Albert Hackett
and Frances Goodrich (1956) Eugene O'Neill
Eugene O'Neill
(1957) Ketti Frings (1958) Archibald MacLeish
Archibald MacLeish
(1959) Jerome Weidman, George Abbott, Jerry Bock
Jerry Bock
and Sheldon Harnick
Sheldon Harnick
(1960) Tad Mosel
Tad Mosel
(1961) Frank Loesser
Frank Loesser
and Abe Burrows
Abe Burrows
(1962) Frank D. Gilroy (1965) Edward Albee
Edward Albee
(1967) Howard Sackler (1969) Charles Gordone (1970) Paul Zindel
Paul Zindel
(1971) Jason Miller (1973) Edward Albee
Edward Albee
(1975) Michael Bennett, Nicholas Dante, James Kirkwood Jr., Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban (1976) Michael Cristofer
Michael Cristofer
(1977) Donald L. Coburn (1978) Sam Shepard
Sam Shepard
(1979) Lanford Wilson
Lanford Wilson
(1980) Beth Henley (1981) Charles Fuller (1982) Marsha Norman
Marsha Norman
(1983) David Mamet
David Mamet
(1984) James Lapine
James Lapine
and Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
(1985) August Wilson
August Wilson
(1987) Alfred Uhry
Alfred Uhry
(1988) Wendy Wasserstein
Wendy Wasserstein
(1989) August Wilson
August Wilson
(1990) Neil Simon
Neil Simon
(1991) Robert Schenkkan
Robert Schenkkan
(1992) Tony Kushner
Tony Kushner
(1993) Edward Albee
Edward Albee
(1994) Horton Foote (1995) Jonathan Larson (1996) Paula Vogel
Paula Vogel
(1998) Margaret Edson (1999) Donald Margulies
Donald Margulies
(2000) David Auburn (2001) Suzan-Lori Parks
Suzan-Lori Parks
(2002) Nilo Cruz
Nilo Cruz
(2003) Doug Wright (2004) John Patrick Shanley
John Patrick Shanley
(2005) David Lindsay-Abaire (2007) Tracy Letts
Tracy Letts
(2008) Lynn Nottage
Lynn Nottage
(2009) Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (2010) Bruce Norris (2011) Quiara Alegría Hudes (2012) Ayad Akhtar
Ayad Akhtar
(2013) Annie Baker
Annie Baker
(2014) Stephen Adly Guirgis (2015) Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda
(2016) Lynn Nottage
Lynn Nottage
(2017)

v t e

Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
for Fiction

1918–1925

His Family
His Family
by Ernest Poole
Ernest Poole
(1918) The Magnificent Ambersons
The Magnificent Ambersons
by Booth Tarkington
Booth Tarkington
(1919) The Age of Innocence
The Age of Innocence
by Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton
(1921) Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington
Booth Tarkington
(1922) One of Ours
One of Ours
by Willa Cather
Willa Cather
(1923) The Able McLaughlins
The Able McLaughlins
by Margaret Wilson (1924) So Big by Edna Ferber
Edna Ferber
(1925)

1926–1950

Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
Sinclair Lewis
(declined) (1926) Early Autumn
Early Autumn
by Louis Bromfield
Louis Bromfield
(1927) The Bridge of San Luis Rey
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
by Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
(1928) Scarlet Sister Mary
Scarlet Sister Mary
by Julia Peterkin (1929) Laughing Boy by Oliver La Farge (1930) Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes (1931) The Good Earth
The Good Earth
by Pearl S. Buck
Pearl S. Buck
(1932) The Store
The Store
by Thomas Sigismund Stribling
Thomas Sigismund Stribling
(1933) Lamb in His Bosom
Lamb in His Bosom
by Caroline Pafford Miller
Caroline Pafford Miller
(1934) Now in November
Now in November
by Josephine Winslow Johnson (1935) Honey in the Horn
Honey in the Horn
by Harold L. Davis (1936) Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell
(1937) The Late George Apley
The Late George Apley
by John Phillips Marquand (1938) The Yearling
The Yearling
by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
(1939) The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
(1940) In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow
Ellen Glasgow
(1942) Dragon's Teeth by Upton Sinclair
Upton Sinclair
(1943) Journey in the Dark
Journey in the Dark
by Martin Flavin (1944) A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
John Hersey
(1945) All the King's Men
All the King's Men
by Robert Penn Warren
Robert Penn Warren
(1947) Tales of the South Pacific
Tales of the South Pacific
by James A. Michener
James A. Michener
(1948) Guard of Honor
Guard of Honor
by James Gould Cozzens (1949) The Way West
The Way West
by A. B. Guthrie Jr. (1950)

1951–1975

The Town by Conrad Richter (1951) The Caine Mutiny
The Caine Mutiny
by Herman Wouk
Herman Wouk
(1952) The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea
by Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
(1953) A Fable
A Fable
by William Faulkner
William Faulkner
(1955) Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
MacKinlay Kantor
(1956) A Death in the Family
A Death in the Family
by James Agee
James Agee
(1958) The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
by Robert Lewis Taylor (1959) Advise and Consent
Advise and Consent
by Allen Drury
Allen Drury
(1960) To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
Harper Lee
(1961) The Edge of Sadness
The Edge of Sadness
by Edwin O'Connor (1962) The Reivers
The Reivers
by William Faulkner
William Faulkner
(1963) The Keepers of the House
The Keepers of the House
by Shirley Ann Grau (1965) The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
by Katherine Anne Porter (1966) The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
Bernard Malamud
(1967) The Confessions of Nat Turner
The Confessions of Nat Turner
by William Styron
William Styron
(1968) House Made of Dawn
House Made of Dawn
by N. Scott Momaday
N. Scott Momaday
(1969) The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford
The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford
by Jean Stafford
Jean Stafford
(1970) Angle of Repose
Angle of Repose
by Wallace Stegner
Wallace Stegner
(1972) The Optimist's Daughter
The Optimist's Daughter
by Eudora Welty
Eudora Welty
(1973) The Killer Angels
The Killer Angels
by Michael Shaara (1975)

1976–2000

Humboldt's Gift
Humboldt's Gift
by Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow
(1976) Elbow Room by James Alan McPherson
James Alan McPherson
(1978) The Stories of John Cheever
The Stories of John Cheever
by John Cheever
John Cheever
(1979) The Executioner's Song
The Executioner's Song
by Norman Mailer
Norman Mailer
(1980) A Confederacy of Dunces
A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole
John Kennedy Toole
(1981) Rabbit Is Rich
Rabbit Is Rich
by John Updike
John Updike
(1982) The Color Purple
The Color Purple
by Alice Walker
Alice Walker
(1983) Ironweed by William Kennedy (1984) Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie (1985) Lonesome Dove
Lonesome Dove
by Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurtry
(1986) A Summons to Memphis
A Summons to Memphis
by Peter Taylor (1987) Beloved by Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison
(1988) Breathing Lessons
Breathing Lessons
by Anne Tyler (1989) The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
by Oscar Hijuelos (1990) Rabbit at Rest by John Updike
John Updike
(1991) A Thousand Acres
A Thousand Acres
by Jane Smiley
Jane Smiley
(1992) A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
by Robert Olen Butler
Robert Olen Butler
(1993) The Shipping News
The Shipping News
by E. Annie Proulx
Annie Proulx
(1994) The Stone Diaries
The Stone Diaries
by Carol Shields (1995) Independence Day by Richard Ford
Richard Ford
(1996) Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser (1997) American Pastoral
American Pastoral
by Philip Roth
Philip Roth
(1998) The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Michael Cunningham
(1999) Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri
(2000)

2001–present

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
Michael Chabon
(2001) Empire Falls
Empire Falls
by Richard Russo
Richard Russo
(2002) Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Jeffrey Eugenides
(2003) The Known World
The Known World
by Edward P. Jones (2004) Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Marilynne Robinson
(2005) March by Geraldine Brooks (2006) The Road
The Road
by Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy
(2007) The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Díaz
Junot Díaz
(2008) Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Elizabeth Strout
(2009) Tinkers by Paul Harding (2010) A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Jennifer Egan
(2011) No award given (2012) The Orphan Master's Son
The Orphan Master's Son
by Adam Johnson (2013) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2014) All the Light We Cannot See
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
Anthony Doerr
(2015) The Sympathizer
The Sympathizer
by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Viet Thanh Nguyen
(2016) The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Colson Whitehead
(2017)

v t e

National Book Award for Fiction (1950–1974)

The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren
Nelson Algren
(1950) Collected Stories of William Faulkner
William Faulkner
by William Faulkner
William Faulkner
(1951) From Here to Eternity by James Jones (1952) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Ralph Ellison
(1953) The Adventures of Augie March
The Adventures of Augie March
by Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow
(1954) A Fable
A Fable
by William Faulkner
William Faulkner
(1955) Ten North Frederick
Ten North Frederick
by John O'Hara
John O'Hara
(1956) The Field of Vision
The Field of Vision
by Wright Morris (1957) The Wapshot Chronicle
The Wapshot Chronicle
by John Cheever
John Cheever
(1958) The Magic Barrel
The Magic Barrel
by Bernard Malamud
Bernard Malamud
(1959) Goodbye, Columbus
Goodbye, Columbus
by Philip Roth
Philip Roth
(1960) The Waters of Kronos
The Waters of Kronos
by Conrad Richter (1961) The Moviegoer
The Moviegoer
by Walker Percy (1962) Morte d'Urban
Morte d'Urban
by J. F. Powers (1963) The Centaur
The Centaur
by John Updike
John Updike
(1964) Herzog by Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow
(1965) The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
by Katherine Anne Porter (1966) The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
Bernard Malamud
(1967) The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
(1968) Steps by Jerzy Kosiński
Jerzy Kosiński
(1969) them by Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
(1970) Mr. Sammler's Planet
Mr. Sammler's Planet
by Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow
(1971) The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor
Flannery O'Connor
(1972) Chimera by John Barth (1973) Augustus by John Williams (1973) Gravity's Rainbow
Gravity's Rainbow
by Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Pynchon
(1974) A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Isaac Bashevis Singer
(1974)

Complete list (1950–1974) (1975–1999) (2000–2024)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 100167035 LCCN: n79062874 ISNI: 0000 0001 2283 4186 GND: 118632817 SELIBR: 101992 SUDOC: 027398498 BNF: cb12056550v (data) MusicBrainz: d3327bc0-3e6f-4b0f-9ef0-ac20e905079a NLA: 35729450 NDL: 00460918 NKC: jn19990009139 BNE: XX982421 SN

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