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Tuesday, 17 April, 2001, 08:43 GMT 09:43 UK
Wonder Boys author wins Pulitzer
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize was established in 1917
Wonder Boys author Michael Chabon has won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for literature.

The author won for his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, a fanciful tale about comic books written by two Jewish cousins in the late 1930s and 40s.

Michael Chabon and wife Ayelet Waldman
Michael Chabon was asked to write a script for the X-Men movie
His previous novel Wonder Boys was turned into a film by director Curtis Hanson and starred Michael Douglas.

Stephen Dunn won the poetry prize for Different Hours, his 11th collection, while the music prize went to Oscar-winning composer John Corigliano for Symphony No. 2 for String Orchestra, a rearrangement of a string quartet he wrote in 1995.

Academy Award

Mr Corigliano won the Academy Award for best original score in 2000 for his music in the film The Red Violin.

John Corigliano
John Corigliano won an Academy award in 2000
The Pulitzer Prize recognises excellence in the arts and journalism, and each winner receives £7,500.

The winners of the 2001 prizes were chosen from 1,390 entries in journalism, 780 books, 112 submissions for music and a number of plays both in New York and in regional theatres.

"Did I really win? I had kind of figured it was not my year," said Mr Chabon.

He added: "My goodness, this is very exciting."

Overnight sensation

Michael Chabon, a former graduate student of the University of California, became an overnight literary sensation when his professor passed on to publishers a novel he had written as part of his degree.

A long-time devotee of comic books, he was approached to write a script for an X-Men movie, but his draft was later rejected.

Stephen Dunn
Stephen Dunn: "Judges were kindred to it"
He said: "When[director] Bryan Singer and his screenwriting partner, Christopher McQuarrie, came along, the studio very wisely dropped me like a hot potato."

Former literature prize winners include Normain Mailer and John Updike.

The drama prize went to David Auburn for his play Proof, the saga of a young woman haunted by the mental collapse of her father.

Poetry winner Stephen Dunn said: "It's something you think about, but you can't allow yourself to expect, given the nature of prizes and the nature of who the judges might be.

"I suspect it was just the convergence of, I hope, the strength of the book and judges who were kindred to it."

The award for biography went to David Levering Lewis for the second volume of his biography of WEB Du Bois, the civil rights campaigner.

The Pulitzer for a history book went to Joseph J. Ellis for Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation.

Dawn raid

The Pulitzer for general non-fiction was awarded to Herbert P. Bix for Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan.

In the journalism awards there were prizes for the news coverage and photography of the dawn raid by federal agents who took Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez for the Miami Herald and Associated Press respectively.

Ian Johnson of The Wall Street Journal won for stories about the Chinese government's suppression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement while Paul Salopek of the Chicago Tribune won for reporting on political strife and disease in Africa.

The New York Times won for national reporting for a series on race in America.

David Willman of the Los Angeles Times won the investigative reporting prize for his pioneering exposť of unsafe prescription drugs that had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the US.

See also:

07 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Atwood wins Booker Prize
17 Apr 01 | Arts
Pulitzer's lasting legacy
09 Apr 01 | Arts
Big Break Diaries: The poet
04 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Pulitzer poet Gwendolyn Brooks dies
29 Mar 01 | New Media
Phone poetry contest launched
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