MONDAY, 14 NOVEMBER, 2005
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Poem: "Sonnet 73: That Time Of Year Thou Mayst In Me Behold" by William Shakespeare Public Domain.

Sonnet 73: That Time Of Year Thou Mayst In Me Behold

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.


Literary and Historical Notes:

On this day in 1851, Harper & Brothers published Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville, about a ship captain named Ahab who is obsessed with hunting the great white sperm whale that took his leg. The book had been published in Britain in October with the title The Whale; Melville's decision to change the title didn't get there in time. The British publisher accidentally left out the ending of the book, the epilogue. This confused a lot of British readers.

The reviews from Britain were harsh, and costly to Melville. At the time, Americans deferred to British critical opinion, and a lot of American newspaper editors reprinted reviews from Britain without actually reading the American version with the proper ending. Melville had just bought a farm in Massachusetts, his debts were piling up, he was hiding them from his wife, and he was counting on Moby-Dick to bring in enough money to pay off his creditors. The book flopped, partly because of those British reviews. As a writer, Melville never recovered from the disappointment.


It's the birthday of cartoonist and author and William Steig, born in New York City (1907). When he was 23, the New Yorker bought his first cartoon for $40. He collected his cartoons in books such as Small Fry (1944), Spinky Sulks (1988), and Our Miserable Life (1990). It was only late in his life that he began writing books for children. In 1990 he wrote Shrek!, about a green ogre whose name means "fear" in Yiddish and who has nightmares about fields of flowers and happy children who won't stop hugging and kissing him.


It's the birthday of humorist and essayist P.J. (Patrick Jake) O'Rourke, born in Toledo, Ohio (1947). He chose to be a writer because he said, "It was the '60s—there was no quality control on anything. If I wrote, who's to say that I wasn't a writer?"

He said, "Humor is a terrific tool for explaining things, especially when what you're explaining is frightening or dull and complicated."

O'Rourke's most recent book is Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism, which came out last year, in which he wrote, "Wherever there's injustice, oppression, and suffering, America will show up six months late and bomb the country next to where it's happening."


It's the birthday of the Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, born Astrid Ericsson on a farm near Vimmerby, Sweden (1907). One day in 1944, she sprained her ankle, and while stuck in bed she began writing about a character named Pippi Longstocking, a nine-year-old girl with no parents who lives in a red house at the edge of a Swedish village with her horse and her pet monkey, Mr. Nilsson. She has red pigtails, and she wears one black stocking and one brown, with black shoes twice as long as her feet. She eats whole chocolate cakes and sleeps with her feet on the pillow, and she's the strongest girl in the world.




TUESDAY, 15 NOVEMBER, 2005
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Poem:"Putting in a Window" by John Brantingham from Putting in a Window © Finishing Line Press. Georgetown, Kentucky. Reprinted with permission.

Putting in a Window

Carpentry has a rhythm that should never
be violated. You need to move slowly,
methodically, never trying to finish early,
never even hoping that you'd be done sooner.
It's best if you work without thought of the
end. If hurried, you end up with crooked
door joints and drafty rooms. Do not work
after you are annoyed just so the job
will be done more quickly. Stop when you
begin to curse at the wood. Putting in
a window should be a joy. You should love
the new header and the sound of
your electric screwdriver as it secures
the new beams. The only good carpenter
is the one who knows that he's not good.
He's afraid that he'll ruin the whole house,
and he works slowly. It's the same as
cooking or driving. The good cook
knows humility, and his soufflé never falls
because he is terrified that it will fall
the whole time he's cooking. The good driver
knows that he might plow into a mother
walking her three-year old, and so watches
for them carefully. The good carpenter
knows that his beams might be weak, and a misstep
might ruin the place he loves. In the end,
you find your own pace, and you loose time.
When you started, the sun was high and now
that you're finished, it's dark. Tomorrow, you
might put in a door. The next day,
you'll start on your new deck.


Literary and Historical Notes:

It was on this day in 1940 that 75,000 men were called to Armed Forces duty under the first peacetime conscription in American history.

There had been a long history of resistance to mandatory military service in this country. During World War I, an estimated 3 million young men refused to register, and 12 percent of those called up didn't report for duty or deserted.

Franklin Roosevelt's decision to impose a draft in the summer of 1940 was especially controversial because the country wasn't even at war. But Americans had all seen newspaper and newsreel coverage of the German Army rolling over Poland in a few weeks, and doing the same in France in a few months. By June of that year, Germans controlled most of the European continent, and the United States had a poorly trained standing army of only about 200,000 soldiers.

So even though he worried it might hurt his chances of reelection that November, Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the first peacetime draft in American history. That October, 16 million young men appeared at precinct election boards across the country to register with the Selective Service. The first lottery was held in Washington, D.C., and it was designed to be as patriotic a ceremony as possible. Secretary of War Henry Stimson was blindfolded with cloth taken from a chair that had been used at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the ladle he used to scoop out numbers had been made from the wood of one of the rafters of Independence Hall.

After the selection process, the first 75,000 draftees were called up to service on this day in 1940. During World War II alone, the draft selected 19 million men and inducted ten million. The draft lapsed briefly after World War II, but the Red Scare persuaded Truman to start it up again, and it continued until 1973.

Most Americans were happy about the end of the draft, but in 1999 the historian Stephen Ambrose wrote, "Today, Cajuns from the Gulf Coast have never met a black person from Chicago. Kids from the ghetto don't know a middle-class white. Mexican-Americans have no contact with Jews. Muslim Americans have few Christian acquaintances... But during World War II and the Cold War, American [men] from every group got together in the service, having a common goal—to defend their country... They learned together, pledged allegiance together, sweated together, hated their drill sergeants together, got drunk together, went overseas together. What they had in common—patriotism, a language, a past they could emphasize and venerate—mattered far more than what divided them."




WEDNESDAY, 16 NOVEMBER, 2005
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Poem: "Ten Degrees" by Tom Chandler from Sad Jazz.© Table Rock Books 2003. Lincoln, Rhode Island. Reprinted with permission.

Ten Degrees

How beautiful the sun as it skims
across the air in the hush of ten degrees,
disc of palest yellow hope along a sky

of circumstance; how beautifully we watch it fall,
the random tern, forgotten mole,
the infant tree inside rough winter bark.

How beautiful this frost, female fingers
tracing down the glass, how beautiful
this world too cold to criticize itself;

how beautiful Earth's creatures are, happy
and forever safe from the only perfect tragedy,
which is of course to never have been born.


Literary and Historical Notes:

It's the birthday of the playwright George S. Kaufman, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1889). He was known as "the hitmaker" in his lifetime, he co-wrote more hit plays than almost anyone else in the history of Broadway, including Animal Crackers (1928), Strike Up the Band (1930) and You Can't Take It With You (1938).

Of the dozens of plays Kaufman wrote in his lifetime, he only wrote one by himself. He said, "Collaboration is marriage without sex, and subject to many vexations. But pay no attention to them, because in one respect at least it is wonderful. The total result is frequently far more than the combined abilities of two people might give you." His various partners through the years all said that he was a meticulous rewriter and polisher, that he was never satisfied with a script even up till the last minute. Even on the most triumphant of opening nights, he could always be found backstage, pale and terrified that the play would be a flop.


It's the birthday of the novelist Andrea Barrett, born in Boston, Massachusetts (1954). She is known for writing about botanists, oceanographers and geologists in novels such as The Forms of Water (1993) and The Voyage of the Narwhal (1998).

She grew up on Cape Cod, and spent most of her time near the ocean, fascinated by sea life. She decided to study biology in college and went on to study zoology in graduate school, but she eventually began writing a novel called Lucid Stars that came out in 1988.

Because so many of Barrett's books deal with scientists, she constantly has to do research before she writes. She said, "I love research. I love... lurching from subject area to subject area. When you're lit by your own purposes, it's astonishing how easily you can leap into a new field and get to that center of passion."

In order to finish her book The Voyage of the Narwhal, about a group of British scientists exploring the Arctic, Barrett traveled to Antarctica herself. Her most recent book is Servants of the Map (2002).

Andrea Barrett said, "I think science and writing are utterly the same thing. They are completely rooted in passion and desire, if they're any good at all."


It's the birthday of the novelist Chinua Achebe, born in Ogidi, Nigeria (1930). He's the author of the novel Things Fall Apart (1958), one of the first novels ever written about European colonization from the point of view of the colonized native people. It became an international best-seller, and sparked a worldwide interest in African literature. His success helped inspire a whole generation of Africans to believe that they could be writers. He has been called the forefather of African literature in English.


It's the birthday of the novelist José Saramago, born in the small village northeast of Lisbon, Portugal (1922). He published his first novel Land of Sin (1947) when he was twenty-four, but after writing two more novels which he considered failures, he stopped writing fiction for the next thirty years. He said, "That was maybe one of the wisest decisions of my life... I had nothing worthwhile to say."

Saramago was in his mid-fifties, unemployed, and blacklisted by the government, when he decided he had no choice but to go back to writing fiction. He went to live in one of the poorest villages in his country and wrote a novel Raised from the Ground (1980) about three generations of a peasant family.

José Saramago said, "If you don't write your books, nobody else will do it for you. No one else has lived your life."




THURSDAY, 17 NOVEMBER, 2005
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Poem: "Late Poem to My Father" by Sharon Olds from The Gold Cell © Knopf. Reprinted with permission.

Late Poem to My Father

Suddenly I thought of you
as a child in that house, the unlit rooms
and the hot fireplace with the man in front of it,
silent. You moved through the heavy air
in your physical beauty, a boy of seven,
helpless, smart, there were things the man
did near you, and he was your father,
the mold by which you were made. Down in the
cellar, the barrels of sweet apples,
picked at their peak from the tree, rotted and
rotted, and past the cellar door
the creek ran and ran, and something was
not given to you, or something was
taken from you that you were born with, so that
even at 30 and 40 you set the
oily medicine to your lips
every night, the poison to help you
drop down unconscious. I always thought the
point was what you did to us
as a grown man, but then I remembered that
child being formed in front of the fire, the
tiny bones inside his soul
twisted in greenstick fractures, the small
tendons that hold the heart in place
snapped. And what they did to you
you did not do to me. When I love you now,
I like to think I am giving my love
Directly to that boy in the fiery room,

As if it could reach him in time.


Literary and Historical Notes:

It's the birthday of American novelist and historian Shelby Foote, born in Greenville, Mississippi (1916). Foote had published several highly regarded novels, including Tournament (1949), Follow Me Down (1950) and Love in a Dry Season (1951), when in 1952, an editor asked him if he would try writing a narrative history of the Civil War. Foote said he thought it would take about four years, but it wound up taking two decades, and the result was three volumes, more than 1.6 million words, and almost 3,000 pages long when published. Foote later compared the project to swallowing a cannonball.

Shelby Foote wrote all his books with an antique pen that had to be dipped in ink after every three or four words.

He spent the last twenty-five years of his life working on an epic novel about Mississippi called Two Gates to the City. It remained unfinished when Foote died this past summer.


It's the birthday of film director Martin Scorsese, born 1942 in Flushing, in the New York borough of Queens. Scorsese grew up in Little Italy in Manhattan where he lived until he was 24. He had asthma and wasn't able to work odd jobs during the summers or play with the neighborhood boys. Instead, he went to movies with his father and afterward sketched motion picture scenes on drawing pads.

Scorsese was raised a devout Roman Catholic and enrolled in a seminary with the intention of becoming a priest. But he was expelled for roughhousing during prayers and transferred to a high school in the Bronx where he found that what he really wanted to do was make movies. He went to New York University and won awards for his student films What's a Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (1963) and It's Not Just You, Murray (1964).

Then in 1973, he made a 45-minute documentary out of an after-dinner conversation with his parents. The film, Italianamerican, includes his parents telling stories about their childhood, and a demonstration of his mother making spaghetti sauce. It received a standing ovation at the 1974 New York Film Festival, during which his mother blew kisses to the audience.

Scorsese's big breakthrough was Mean Streets (1973), based on a relationship between a couple of small-time hoods in the criminal world of Little Italy. That movie also launched the career of Robert de Niro.


It was on this day in 1558 that Queen Elizabeth I acceded to the English throne upon the death of her sister, Queen Mary.


It was on this day in 1968 that NBC interrupted its coverage of a football game between the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets with one minute remaining in order to show the scheduled movie Heidi, about an orphaned girl who goes to live with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps.

In the last minute of the game, the Raiders scored two touchdowns, coming from behind to win the game 43 to 32. Football fans were enraged. So many people called to complain that the NBC's telephone switchboard in New York City blew 26 fuses.

It was that game, and the storm of protest by fans, that forced TV executives to realize how passionate the audience for football really was. Two years later, networks began showing football on Monday nights as well. And because of that game, the NFL now has a contract with the networks that all football games will be shown until their completion.




FRIDAY, 18 NOVEMBER, 2005
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Poem: "Home" by Darnell Arnoult from What Travels With Us © Louisiana State University. Reprinted with permission

Home

I liked to live in the old
kind of house

Plenty of good
cracks in the floor

Finish your corn bread.
Sweep the crumbs

through the cracks

Under the old kind of house
chickens would get em

fast as they'd fall.


Literary and Historical Notes:

It's the birthday of playwright and humorist Sir W.S. (William Schenk) Gilbert, of Gilbert and Sullivan, born in London (1836). He met composer Arthur Sullivan in 1870. They started working together the following year and produced a series of hits including H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), The Pirates of Penzance (1879), Patience (1881), The Gondoliers (1889), and others. Gilbert and Sullivan collaborated on 14 operas in the 25-year period from 1871 to 1896.

He wrote, "If you wish in this world to advance,
your merits you're bound to enhance;
you must stir it and stump it,
and blow your own trumpet,
Or trust me, you haven't a chance."


It's the birthday of American statistician George Gallup (1901), born in Jefferson, Iowa. He was a pioneer in scientific polling techniques, and his name became a household word synonymous with the opinion poll.

Gallup enrolled in the University of Iowa in 1918, played football and became the editor of the Daily Iowan. While editor in the early 1920s, Gallup conducted what is widely considered the first poll in human history. He took a survey to find the prettiest girl on the campus. The winner was Ophelia Smith, whom Gallup later married.

He gained recognition for accurately predicting Franklin Roosevelt's victory over Alf Landon in 1936. Twelve years later Gallup predicted that Thomas Dewey would defeat Harry Truman in 1948, but he managed to recover from that blunder."


It's the birthday of novelist and poet Margaret Atwood, born in Ottawa, Ontario (1939). Her father was an entomologist who spent every year from April to November studying insects at a forestry research station in Northern Quebec. Atwood said, "At the age of six months, I was carried into the woods in a packsack, and this landscape became my hometown." She had no access to television or movies, and few children to play with. So she spent all her time exploring the woods and reading.

She only began to attend full-time school in Toronto when she was 11 years old. She wrote, "I was now faced with real life, in the form of other little girls—their prudery and snobbery, their Byzantine social life based on whispering and vicious gossip, and an inability to pick up earthworms without wriggling all over and making mewing noises like a kitten."

Atwood decided she wanted to be a writer at a time when there was almost no such thing as Canadian literature. There was actually a year in the early 1960's when a total of only five Canadian novels were published in the whole country.

Atwood's first novel The Edible Woman came out in 1969. It's about a woman who finds that she can no longer eat after her boyfriend proposes marriage. It would have been published three years earlier, but the publisher had lost the manuscript. Atwood published several more novels, becoming a cult figure in Canada and among feminists. Then, in 1978, she took a trip to Iran, where women were being forced to wear veils and to take subservient positions in all areas of society. That experience got her to thinking about what would happen in America if there were a similar cultural revolution. And that gave her an idea for her novel The Handmaid's Tale (1985), which became an international best-seller.

Margaret Atwood said, "Women see me as living proof that you don't have to come to a sticky end—put your head in an oven, stay silent for 30 years, not have children—to be a good and serious writer."


It was on this day in 1978 that Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple, ordered more than 900 of his followers to drink cyanide-poisoned punch.


It was on this day in 1928 that Mickey Mouse was born. Walt Disney's "Steamboat Willie," premiered in New York at the Colony Theater. It was the first sound-synchronized cartoon to attract widespread public attention. Along with Mickey Mouse, the black and white cartoon featured Minnie Mouse and Pegleg Pete.




SATURDAY, 19 NOVEMBER, 2005
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Poem:"Some In Pieces" by Darnel Arnoult from What Travels With Us © Louisiana State University Press. Reprinted with permission.

Some In Pieces

In World War Two
the oldest
of my uncles
picked up
dead bodies
dead weight
some in pieces
and threw them
onto the beds
of trucks.
His work spread
far as he could see.
When he came
home he poured
salted peanuts
into a Co-Cola
and prepared
for life
with folks
who could
never know
some things
as long
as they lived.


Literary and Historical Notes:

It's the birthday of American poet Sharon Olds, born in San Francisco (1942). She's the author of The Dead and the Living (1984), The Father (1992) and Blood, Tin, Straw (1999). She said: "Poets are like steam valves, where the ordinary feelings of ordinary people can escape and be shown."


It's the birthday of child psychologist and author Penelope Leach, born in London, England (1937).


It's the birthday of poet and novelist Alan Tate, born in Winchester, Kentucky (1899).


It was on this date in 1861 that Mrs. Julia Ward Howe sat down and wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic. The poem was first published in the February 1862 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, and later set to the popular melody "Glory Hallelujah."


It was on this day in 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln got up in front of about 15,000 people seated at a new national cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and delivered the Gettysburg Address. The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War. It was the furthest the Confederate soldiers had ever pushed into the North, but they'd been driven back.

The men killed in the battle had been buried hastily in shallow graves with haphazard wooden markers, but in the months since the battle, a man named David Wills oversaw the task of identifying and burying the dead properly. The ceremony was to dedicate the new cemetery. Wills invited the most popular poets of the day to write something in honor of the occasion. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier and William Cunnings Bryant all declined. So David Wills invited Edward Everett, a well-known speaker who was famous for his speeches about battlefields. It was almost as an afterthought that Wills decided to invite President Lincoln to the ceremony.

No one is sure exactly when Lincoln wrote his speech. Most people who knew him said that he spent a great deal of time writing every public statement he ever made, so he probably composed the first draft in Washington D.C. Witnesses said they saw him working on the speech on the train ride to Pennsylvania, and others said that they saw him working in his room the night before the event.

It was a foggy, cold morning on this day in 1863. Lincoln arrived about 10 a.m. Around noon the sun broke out as the crowds gathered on a hill overlooking the battlefield. A military band played, a local preacher offered a long prayer, and the headlining orator Edward Everett spoke for over two hours, describing the Battle of Gettysburg in great detail, and he brought the audience to tears more than once.

When Everett was finished, Lincoln got up, and pulled his speech from his coat pocket. It consisted of ten sentences, a total of 272 words. Lincoln did not mention any of the specifics of the war or any of the details of the battle of Gettysburg. He did not mention the North or the South. He did not mention slavery. Instead, he explained, in ordinary language, that our nation was founded on the idea that all men are created equal, and that we must continue to fight for that principle, in honor of those who have died fighting for it.

Unfortunately for Lincoln, the audience was distracted by a photographer setting up his camera, and by the time Lincoln had finished his speech and sat down the audience didn't even realize he had spoken. Lincoln was disappointed in his performance, but the next day Edward Everett told the President, "I wish that I could flatter myself that I had come as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes." The speech was reprinted in newspapers around the country, and it went on to become one of the most famous speeches in American history.

It begins, "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

And ends, "Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."




SUNDAY, 20 NOVEMBER, 2005
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Poem: "Monet Refuses The Operation" by Lisa Mueller from Alive Together © Louisiana State University Press. Reprinted with permission.

Monet Refuses The Operation

Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don't see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolves
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don't know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and change our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.


Literary and Historical Notes:

It's the birthday of South African novelist Nadine Gordimer, born in Springs, South Africa (1923). She's the author of 16 collections of short stories and 13 novels, most of which explore the issue of race in her homeland of South Africa. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991, and has served as a member of the African National Congress. She has said: "People make the mistake of regarding commitment as something solely political. A writer is committed to trying to make sense of life. It's a search. So there is that commitment first of all: the commitment to the honesty and determination to go as deeply into things as possible, and to dredge up what little bit of truth you with your talent can then express."


It's the birthday of the novelist Don DeLillo, born in New York City (1936). He is the son of Italian immigrants, and he didn't read at all when he was growing up in the Fordham section of the Bronx. Instead, he was obsessed with games: card games, alley games, rooftop games, fire escape games, punch ball, stick ball, handball, or stoopball.

But when he was 18, he got a summer job as a playground attendant. He was supposed to patrol the park and blow a whistle if he saw anything out of order, but instead he began to spend every day sitting on a park bench reading books he got out of the library. He read Melville, Hemingway, Faulkner, and James Joyce, and he said, "It was through [those books] that I learned to see something in language that carried a radiance, something that made me feel the beauty and fervor of words, the sense that a word has a life and a history."

After college, DeLillo worked at an advertising agency for three years, and then one day decided to quit. He later said, "What I wanted [was] to smoke cigarettes, drink coffee and look at the world... I became a writer by living in New York and seeing and hearing and feeling all the great, amazing and dangerous things the city endlessly assembles."

For the next four years, DeLillo lived on two thousand dollars a year in a tiny unheated apartment. He supported himself with various freelance writing assignments, including writing copy for furniture catalogues, and he worked on his first novel, about a TV executive who decides to take a trip across America with a video camera, documenting everything he sees. At the end of four years, DeLillo had more than a thousand pages of manuscript, he knew it was a mess, and he just hoped some editor would help him sort it out. The first publisher he showed it to accepted the book. It was edited down to a few hundred pages and published as Americana (1971).

DeLillo's first few novels got mixed reviews, but he slowly developed an underground following, writing novels about conspiracy theories and cults and terrorists. He became interested in the story of John F. Kennedy's assassination when he learned that Lee Harvey Oswald had grown up a few blocks away from him in the Bronx. DeLillo bought a used collection of the twenty-six volume Warren Commission Report and spent three years re-imagining the events that led to the Kennedy assassination. The result was his novel Libra (1988), which many critics have called his first masterpiece.

For years, DeLillo refused to be photographed or interviewed, because he believed the proper place for a writer was obscurity. He's since become a more public person, but he's one of the few modern novelists who has never taught a creative writing class or written a book review. DeLillo said, "I've never thought about myself in terms of a career... I don't have a career, I have a typewriter."

His other novels include Mao II (1991) and Underworld (1997). His most recent novel is Cosmopolis (2003).

Don DeLillo said, "Art is one of the consolation prizes we receive for having lived in a difficult and sometimes chaotic world."

He also said, "History is the sum total of all the things they aren't telling us."




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