National Endowment for the Arts - The Big Read
The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Our Town

The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Our Town

by Thornton Wilder

It seems to me that my books are about: what is the worst thing that the world can do to you, and what are the last resources one has to oppose it.


Thornton Wilder in the role of George Antrobus in The Skin of Our Teeth (Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Excerpt from "Oh Sister" performed by Andrew Bird and featured on the album Soldier On (2007), used courtesy of Wegawam Music Company. All rights not specifically granted are hereby reserved.

"Oh Sister," written by Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy, Copyright 1975 Ram's Horn Music (SESAC). All rights reserved. International Copyright secured. Used by permission.

Excerpt from "on awakening" composed and performed by Jeffrey Roden and featured on the album seeds of happiness (2006), published by permission of the big tree music (BMI), and used courtesy of New Albion Records.

Excerpts from "Una hora" and "Ecce quomodo moritur" featured on the album Tenebrae Responsories (1990) by Tomás Luis de Victoria is performed by The Tallis Scholars under their director, Peter Phillips, and is reproduced with the kind permission of Gimell Records.

Tenebrae Responsories (Tomás Luis de Victoria, arranged by Bruno Turner), G. Schirmer, Inc. (ASCAP) o/b/o Chester Music Ltd. [100%]. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Excerpts from the following compositions used courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.:

  • Johann Sebastian Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G major: Prelude and Cello Suite No. 3 in C major, Sarabande, performed by Alexander Rudin and featured on the album Back: Complete Cello Suites (2002).
  • Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet in F major, Op. 59, No. 1 ("Razumovsky"), Allegro, featured on the album String Quartets Volume 4 (1998); String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132, Allegro Sostenuto Allegro and Heiliger Dankgesange Molto adagio, performed by the Kodály Quartet and featured on the album String Quartets Volume 7 (2000).
  • Ariel Ramírez's Misa Criolla: Agnus Dei, Gloria, and Kyrie, performed by The Choral Arts Society of Washington (DC), conducted by Joseph Holt, and featured on the album Celebrating Sacred Rhythms (2006), used by permission of WB MUSIC CORP (ASCAP).
  • Tomás Luis de Victoria's Missa O Magnum Mysterium: O Magnum Mysterium, performed by the Oxford Camerata, conducted by Jeremy Summerly, and featured on the album Victoria: Masses (1992).

Readings by Thornton Wilder from the Thornton Wilder Papers, Yale Collection of American Literature, used by permission of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Writen and produced by Adam Kampe at the National Endowment for the Arts, 2009.

Executive Producer: Josephine Reed

Assistant Producers: Liz Mehaffey and Pepper Smith

Literary rights provided courtesy of the Wilder Family LLC and The Barbara Hogenson Agency, Inc.

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