"Thornton Wilder's Bridge of San Luis Rey is as close to perfect a moral fable as we are ever likely to get in American literature." -Russell Banks
FIRST AMERICAN EDITION, SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY THORNTON WILDER on front free endpaper: "For Ida Freedman / Thornton Wilder"
The Bridge of San Luis Rey "proved to be one of the great surprises in the history of American publishing. Its sponsors recognized its original beauty and the high quality of its style. So it was issued as one of those things 'which add dignity to a publisher's list.' It became the Pulitzer Prize novel for 1928, and was for two or three years a best-seller" (Vernon Loggins, I Hear America). In telling the story of a fatal bridge collapse set in eighteenth-century Peru, Wilder "sets forth themes that recur in [his] fiction: love, brotherhood, tolerance, and faith. Its last statement applies to many of Wilder's works: 'There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.' Wilder was unprepared for the acclaim that followed the publication of The Bridge of San Luis Rey. In the New Republic (28 Dec. 1927), Malcolm Cowley called the book 'perfect in itself. . . . The texture is completely unified; nothing falls short of its mark; nothing exceeds it; and the book as a whole is like some faultless temple erected to a minor deity'" (American National Biography).
New York: Albert & Charles Boni, 1927. Octavo, original cloth, original dust jacket. Text block with a few splits (as often) but holding; cloth clean. Rare dust jacket with a few small chips to head of spine and light spine toning. Overall, an extraordinary copy.