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The Woman of Andros
By Thornton Wilder (1930)
First Edition, First Printing
DESCRIPTION: Born in the college town of Madison, Wisconsin, three-time Pulitzer winner Thornton Wilder is undoubtedly best remembered now for his summer-stock favorite Our Town, but this public intellectual's career spans a far wider range than just this; a former student at Oberlin, Princeton and Yale, who was rejected by his classmates for ironically being "too smart," he put in time as a professor at Harvard and the University of Chicago among other places, was a military hero in both World War One and Two, saw one of his plays turned into the hit Broadway musical "Hello Dolly!," and basically invented all the tropes of the modern disaster movie with his very first novel, 1927's massively popular The Bridge of San Luis Rey. And today's book being auctioned, 1930's The Woman of Andros, was the very first thing he published after that surprise bestseller; a reflection of his time as a literary scholar, it's an updating of the ancient Roman comedy Andria, a short but heady little book that asks such philosophical questions as why humans invent class systems and what the meaning of life is. Being offered for a very affordable price today because of a condition issue with the dust jacket (but see below for more), this is a wonderful piece of Early Modernist history and a must-have for any Thornton completist.
CONDITION: Text: Very Good Plus (VG+). Still in generally great shape, except for sunning along all top edges and spine. Dust jacket: Good (G). In most respects still in very good shape, minus a few small tears along the edges and folds; but unfortunately the spine has been bleached by the sun to near illegibility, which lowers the resale value of the book overall quite a bit. As confirmed by the McBride Guide to the Identification of First Editions, an agreement in date on the title page and copyright page makes this a first edition, and a lack of additional printing notices makes this a first printing as well.
PROVENANCE: Acquired by CCLaP at Bookworks, Chicago, spring 2012.