The Bridges of Madison County
|Author||Robert James Waller|
|Publisher||Warner Books, Inc.|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|LC Class||PS3573.A4347 B75 1992|
|Followed by||A Thousand Country Roads|
The Bridges of Madison County is a 1992 best-selling novel by Robert James Waller that tells the story of a married but lonely Italian-American woman (war bride) living on a 1960s Madison County, Iowa farm. While her husband and children are away at the State Fair, she engages in an affair with a National Geographic photographer from Bellingham, Washington, who is visiting Madison County to create a photographic essay on the covered bridges in the area. The novel is presented as a novelization of a true story, but it is in fact entirely fictional. However, the author stated in an interview that there were strong similarities between the main character and himself.
A sequel entitled A Thousand Country Roads was published in 2002. It tells the remainder of the two main characters' story after their four-day affair. They never meet again, but their lives are interlocked until death.
In 2005, the trilogy was completed with High Plains Tango, which came about when Waller was writing A Thousand Country Roads and he realized he had two novels' worth of material. "High Plains Tango picks up the story of itinerant master carpenter Carlisle McMillan, Robert Kincaid's illegitimate son, who settles in Salamander, S.D. There his life becomes intertwined with two very different women and almost overrun by the threats of eminent domain."
The San Francisco Chronicle praised the novel as "lyrical..sensuous and sensitive..a tale of lasting love", while Entertainment Weekly called it "a short, poignant story, moving precisely because it has the ragged edges of reality".
Other reviewers criticized the novel as sentimental slush: featuring "contrived, unrealistic dialog", and a "trite" storyline.
The book debuted on the New York Times bestseller list in August 1992, and slowly climbed to number 1, and remained on the list for over three years (164 consecutive weeks), through October 8, 1995.
The Bridges of Madison County was adapted into a Tony Award-winning musical with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown and the book by Marsha Norman. The musical premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival on August 1, 2013. Directed by Bartlett Sher, the cast featured Elena Shaddow as Francesca and Steven Pasquale. The musical began previews on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on January 17, 2014 and officially opened on February 20, 2014 with Kelli O'Hara as Francesca and Steven Pasquale as Robert Kincaid. Directed by Bartlett Sher, the sets are by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, and lighting by Donald Holder. Hunter Foster played the role of Bud Johnson, the husband of Francesca.
- Transcript of interview with Robert James Waller at http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides3/thousand_country_roads2.asp#bio, retrieved 4 Feb, 2008
- Love in Black and White, hardcover, Sinclair-Stevenson, 1992.
- Love in Black and White, paperback, Mandarin, 1993.
- Reid, Dixie. "Waller's 'Bridges' trilogy ends with a 'Tango'". azcentral.com. The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- Klepp, L.S. "BOOK REVIEW: The Bridges of Madison County" June 12, 1992.
- Lyall, Sarah (28 July 1993). "Book Notes: A Big Year for 'Bridges'", The New York Times
- (8 October 1995). "Best Seller List", The New York Times
- Official site bridgesofmadisoncountymusical
- Staff. "Just the Winners, Please: Who Won the 68th Annual Tony Awards" playbill.com, June 8, 2014
- "The Tony Award Nominees - Shows - TonyAwards.com - The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards® - Official Website by IBM". TonyAwards.com. 2014-02-18. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- Hetrick, Adam. " 'The Bridges of Madison County', Starring Steven Pasquale and Elena Shaddow, Premieres at Williamstown" playbill.com, August 1, 2013
- Hetrick, Adam. " 'The Bridges of Madison County', Starring Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale, Arrives on Broadway Jan. 17" playbill.com, January 17, 2014
- Gioia, Michael and Hetrick, Adam. "'The Bridges of Madison County' Will Open on Broadway One Week Earlier Than Expected" playbill.com, November 26, 2013
- Staff."The Verdict: Critics Review 'The Bridges of Madison County'" playbill.com, February 21, 2014
- Hetrick, Adam. "Hunter Foster Completes Love Triangle of Broadway Musical The Bridges of Madison County'" playbill.com, December 3, 2013