Robert Wilder (novelist)

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Robert Ingersoll Wilder (Richmond, Virginia January 25, 1901 – San Diego, California August 22, 1974) was an American novelist, playwright and screenwriter.

He was the son of a minister-turned-lawyer-turned-doctor-turned-dentist who was still going to college when his son was born. Wilder's childhood was spent at Daytona Beach, Florida. Following a stint in the U.S. Army during World War I, he was educated at Stetson University[1] and Columbia University. At various times in his life, Mr. Wilder was a soda jerk, a ship fitter, a theater usher, a shipping clerk, a newspaper copyboy, leader of a criminal gang, "a publicity agent" (Claudette Colbert was among his clients), a radio executive, and a journalist (for The New York Sun).

Wilder traveled widely and contributed stories to The New Yorker, among other publications. Two of his plays were Sweet Chariot, based on the life and career of African-American activist Marcus Garvey, and Stardust, both produced on Broadway, at a time when Wilder was living in Bayside, New York.

Probably Wilder's best-known book is the novel Flamingo Road (1942). With his wife, Sally, he adapted it into the 1946 play of the same name. He then wrote the screenplay for the 1949 film version, starring Joan Crawford. He wrote the screenplay for the Western The Big Country (1958), directed by William Wyler. A later novel, Wind from the Carolinas, was first published in 1964.

Wilder died in August 1974. His papers are held at the Gottlieb Library at Boston University. For the early 1980s Flamingo Road TV series, Wilder was credited as its creator.

Books written by Robert Wilder[edit]

  • God Has a Long Face (1940)
  • Flamingo Road (1942)
  • Out of the Blue (1943)
  • Mr. G. Strings Along (1944)
  • Written on the Wind (1946)
  • Bright Feather (1948)
  • Wait for Tomorrow (1950)
  • And Ride a Tiger (1951)
  • Autumn Thunder (1952)
  • The Wine of Youth (1955)
  • Walk With Evil (1957)
  • A Handful of Men (1960)
  • The Sun Is My Shadow (1960)
  • Plough the Sea (1961)
  • Wind from the Carolinas (1964)
  • Fruit of the Poppy (1965)
  • The Sea and the Stars (1967)
  • An Affair of Honor (1969)
  • The Sound of Drums and Cymbals (1973)

The following films were based on Wilder's work:


  1. ^ Archival view of 1941 Stetson student newspaper article about a Wilder novel:

External links[edit]