i Wilder's first novel, originally published in 1926, explores the self-consciously decadent world of Rome after World War I. Its protagonist - Samuele, an American student - is drawn into the declining days of the titular secret community, composed of decaying European royalty, eccentric expatriate Americans, and even a cardinal of the Roman church. Wilder playfully presents these characters as the vestigial representatives of Roman gods and goddesses. A semi-autobiographical novel of unforgettable characters and human passion, The Cabala launched Wilder's career as a celebrated storyteller and dramatist.

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