A huge modern influence, Thomas Pynchon's reputation as a contemporary literary giant is only enhanced by his adamant reclusivity (the photo shown here is one of the few of him ever to be published). His prose is so intimidatingly dense, his novels so thematically grand, that he presents a rewarding challenge to his readers and his would-be protegees.
Read the biography
Also Known As:
Thomas Ruggles Pynchon Jr. (full name)
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
May 8, 1937
Place of Birth:
Glen Cove, Long Island, New York
B. A., Cornell University, 1958
National Book Award for Gravity's Rainbow, 1974
|New From Pynchon||Published Novels|
|Against the Day|
The reclusive author offers up an epic novel that spans from the Chicago World's Fair to post-World War I, reaching from London and Mexico to the Balkans. "Those who climb aboard Pynchon's airship will have the ride of their lives," says The Washington Post. "History lesson, mystical quest, utopian dream, experimental metafiction, Marxist melodrama, Marxian comedy -- Against the Day is all of these things and more."
The Crying of Lot 49 (1966)
Gravity's Rainbow (1973)
Mason & Dixon (1997)
Against the Day (2006)
Thomas Pynchon chronology
|The Fly in the Pulitzer Ointment|
Thomas Pynchon, Frank Miller (Introduction)
As far as the 1974 Pulitzer fiction jury was concerned, Pynchon's virtuosic Gravity's Rainbow was a winner; but board members who considered the book obscene did not agree, and no prize was given that year. Still, impressed critics and readers have spent themselves putting together strings of adjectives to describe this book and their admiration for it. It's probably best enjoyed with some help: Try the companion below.
A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel
Steven C. Weisenburger