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By Thornton Wilder

"On Friday midday, July the 20th, 1714, the best bridge in all Peru broke and triggered 5 tourists into the gulf below." With this celebrated sentence, Thornton Wilder starts off The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of many towering achievements in American fiction and a singular learn through the world.

By probability, a monk witnesses the tragedy. Brother Juniper seeks to turn out that it used to be divine intervention instead of likelihood that ended in the deaths of these who perished within the tragedy. His research results in his personal demise -- and to the author's undying research into the character of affection and the that means of the human condition.

The Bridge of San Luis Rey is now reissued during this good-looking hardcover variation that includes a brand new foreword by way of Russell Banks. Tappan Wilder has written a fascinating and thought-provoking afterword, including unpublished notes for the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, illuminating images, and different outstanding documentary fabric. Granville Hicks's insightful remark approximately Wilder indicates an inveterate fact: "As a craftsman he's moment to none, and there are few who've appeared deeper into the human heart."

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Extra info for The Bridge of San Luis Rey

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The development of urban social services, the fight for woman suffrage, the birth control movement, the 24 A NEW HEARTLAND drive to limit child labor—all have been major topics of interest for feminist histories, but all revolved around the reformist energies of women who were primarily from a city-based middle class. This does not mean, however, that farm women were culturally negligible, or that their imagined distance from the modern translated into a failure to feel its impact, or indeed, to contribute to its re/formative impulses.

It also demonstrates that her views are not as simplistically romantic as they may at first appear, since she promotes farm women’s participation in reform, even if that is rather vaguely, and conservatively, defined. Among other things, for instance, she urges farm women not only to vote but even to accept public office when necessary, in order to “secur[e] better local conditions” (287). Significantly, Atkeson also reveals a keen awareness of the pressures of modernity on the farm woman: Of course conditions have changed greatly in America in the last hundred years.

A conflation of circumstances conspired to make the American countryside a site of scrutiny in both positive and negative terms. Among these were advances in technology that promised to revolutionize farming and that contributed to a growing interpenetration of urban and rural cultures; a more intense awareness of the interdependence of urban and rural economies; widespread interest in “improving” societal structures, especially those that affected the social welfare of citizens deemed impoverished; and the increasing legitimacy of social science.

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