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Pulitzer Prize authors

Piano Fire

How she must have dreaded us and our sweaty coins, more
than we hated practice, the lessons, scales, the winter-hot parlor,

her arthritic hands, the metronome’s awful tick. She lectured

Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@?*! (Installment #1)

This was also the very first piece toward the graphic novel that fourteen years later would become the Pulitzer Prize–winning Maus. In the time intervening, Spiegelman, more than any other single artist or writer, would transform the world of comic books. He turned a child’s diversion into serious literature and in the process invented a new genre—the American graphic novel. Though it could be argued that Will Eisner fathered the form, Spiegelman created its idiom, its pace, its visual style, and most importantly, he recognized its subject—the self. More than anyone else, Spiegelman brought comix from the underground to the mainstream.



he rifle would shoot half minute of angle groups. Five inch groups at one thousand yards. The spot he’d picked to shoot from lay just below a long talus of lava scree and it would put him well within that distance. Except that it would take the better part of an hour to get there and the antelope were grazing away from him. The best he could say about any of it was that there was no wind.

Robert Bly and James Wright: A Correspondence

For as long as I can remember I've been hearing the story: that James Wright, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, had nearly given up writing early in his career. What saved him? An unexpected copy of a new magazine called The Fifties and the ensuing correspondence with its young poet-editor Robert Bly. The correspondence bloomed into a friendship, and Wright's best and most famous poems were written at Bly's farm in Madison, Minnesota. As I say, I've been hearing this for as long as I can remember. But without a biography or a volume of Wright's letters to confirm the story, it always remained in the realm of rumor. 

The Sky Is Falling, the Sky Is Falling!

Everyone around the world with access to a television set saw the cataclysmic destruction of the World Trade Center towers, saw it in constant replay, burning—and burning itself into our collective retina. I saw it that way too, but first saw it unmediated. On September 11th my wife, Françoise Mouly, and I had just stepped out of our Lower Manhattan home. Those towers had been our taken-for-granted neighbors, always picture-postcard visible a mile south of our front stoop. That morning, out of the very clear, very blue sky, a plane roared right over our heads and smashed into the first tower.