Thornton Wilder is the author of The Bridge of San Luis Rey, which was originally published during 1927. It was published again during 2003 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics. It tells the story of a monk, Brother Juniper, witnessing a tragic moment that inspires him to endure a spiritual journey of searching for answers. The tragic moment consists of five travelers losing their lives after a trusted bridge in Peru collapses, hurling them into the gulf. His search for the possibility of divine intervention causing the tragedy rather than coincidence left him for dead.
Wilder allows the reader to explore the spiritual and moral foundation of the human condition with depth and elegance, according to numerous readers. Such readers appreciate how he touches on the dichotomy of life: the coexistence of prosperity and misfortune. Yet some readers find the book a bit too perplexing in certain respects.
Overall, he sends a deep message regarding how precious life is to the reader. It is a message that earned him the 1928 Pulitzer Prize for Novel. Wilder was not just a novelist. He was a playwright with two Pulitzer award-winning plays titled Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth.