Queer Places:
211 W Gilman St, Madison, WI 53703, USA
140 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53703, Stati Uniti
Maple Bluff, WI, Stati Uniti
Berkeley High School, 1980 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704, Stati Uniti
Oberlin College, 173 W Lorain St, Oberlin, OH 44074, Stati Uniti
Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, Stati Uniti
Lawrenceville School, 2500 Main Street, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648, Stati Uniti
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, Stati Uniti
50 Deepwood Dr, Hamden, CT 06517, USA
MacDowell Colony, 100 High St, Peterborough, NH 03458
Mount Carmel Cemetery, 3801 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT 06518, Stati Uniti

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 and The Skin of Our Teeth — and a U.S. National Book Award for the novel The Eighth Day.

Although Wilder never discussed being homosexual publicly or in his writings, his close friend 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 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 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.

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]

Portrait of Thornton Wilder, as Mr. Antrobus in "The Skin of our Teeth"] |  Library of Congress
by Carl Van Vechten


by Rollie McKenna

Thornton Wilder, Paris, 1939 © Gisèle Freund
Thornton Wilder, 1939, by Gisèle Freund


Yale University, New Haven, CT


Princeton University, NJ

Albert Marre recounted arranging a meeting between William Faulkner and Thornton Wilder at Wilder’s apartment and at Wilder’s request. When Marre approached Faulkner about the meeting, Faulkner established the tone that the meeting would eventually take by asking Marre, when he named Thornton Wilder, “Who’s that?”. Marre understood the insult and called Faulkner’s bluff. When the two writers met, Faulkner continued his insolent performance. The “disastrous interview” consisted of Faulkner’s putting on his “super Southern country boy routine” and sitting at some distance and at an angle from the partially deaf Wilder. Faulkner’s spatial manipulation forced Wilder to lean in and cup his hand over his ear to hear Faulkner, who intentionally spoke in a low voice in response to Wilder’s questions. When Wilder tried to explain what he thought was the meaning of the title Light in August, Faulkner rudely rejected his interpretation. Marre explained that he “saw Wilder flush. He rose and departed,” clearly upset that his praise of Faulkner elicited such a boorish response. Marre’s anger at Faulkner only increased when Wilder wrote Marre a few days after the incident to ask, “Why did he hate me?”.


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