The Theater: The Rediscoverer

Thornton Wilder was a member of the Lost Generation who was never lost, and his own generation never quite forgave him for that. Born a year after Fitzgerald, two years before Hemingway, he confessed to being "fundamentally a happy person." While his disillusioned contemporaries were rebelling brilliantly as expatriates in Paris, Wilder, whose grandfather was a Presbyterian minister, sometimes plotted out his writing during church services, taught contentedly at a New Jersey prep school (Lawrenceville) and ended up a lifelong bachelor sharing a house with his sister Isabel in Hamden, Conn. Rotund, kind...

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