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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 April, 2005, 09:13 GMT 10:13 UK
Church abuse play wins Pulitzer
Cross and candle
Doubt by John Patrick Shanley opened on Broadway last week
A play about child abuse in the Roman Catholic Church has been awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Doubt, by Oscar-winning writer John Patrick Shanley, won the prize just two days after the death of the Pope.

The play is about a priest accused of molesting a boy. It comes after a damaging scandal in the US Catholic Church that implicated 4,000 priests.

In other Pulitzer awards, Marilynne Robinson won the fiction prize and Ted Kooser picked up the poetry accolade.

Mr Shanley won an Academy Award for writing the screenplay for Moonstruck, starring Cher, in 1988.

Stars including Harvey Keitel and David Hasselhoff turned up when Doubt opened on Broadway last week after an acclaimed off-Broadway run.

Marilynne Robinson
Marilynne Robinson won the fiction prize for her novel Gilead
Set in 1964 in The Bronx, where Mr Shanley grew up, it sees a nun confront a well-liked parish priest who she believes is abusing a 12-year-old boy.

"The play very much relates to religion," he said. "And the parable is a key way of talking about issues, ideas and moralities."

Last year, a report commissioned by the Church said more than 4,000 US Roman Catholic priests had faced sexual abuse allegations in the last 50 years in cases involving more than 10,000 children, mostly boys.

In the Pulitzer fiction category, Marilynne Robinson triumphed for Gilead, her National Book Critics Circle-winning novel about a dying Iowa preacher.

Journalism expose

US poet laureate Ted Kooser won the poetry prize for Delights and Shadows, while composer Steven Stucky picked up the music award for Second Concerto for Orchestra.

Other awards in the arts section were won by non-fiction books by David Hackett Fischer, Mark Stevens, Annalyn Swan and Steve Coll.

In the journalism section, the Los Angeles Times won the public service award for its expose of deadly medical problems and racial injustice at an inner-city hospital.

The paper won another award for international reporting for its coverage of Russia, while The Wall Street Journal also picked up two prizes.



SEE ALSO:
Timeline: US Catholic sex scandal
07 Feb 05 |  Americas
Pope addresses US abuse scandal
02 Sep 04 |  Americas
Church 'shamed' over sex abuse
27 Feb 04 |  Americas
Slave story scoops Pulitzer Prize
06 Apr 04 |  Entertainment
Pulitzer's musical horizons widen
01 Jun 04 |  Entertainment
Genocide book wins Pulitzer
07 Apr 03 |  Entertainment


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