Michael Cunningham

(b. 1952)

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(1952– ),

American novelist. His first novel, A Home at the End of the World (1990), introduced a theme that would recur in Cunningham's work, the experiences of a gay man in the time of AIDS, here through the character of Jonathan and the life he shares with housemates Clare and Bobby. Flesh and Blood (1995), a family saga, was followed by The Hours (1998, Pulitzer Prize), a fantasia on Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway. The novel interweaves the story of Woolf with two 20th‐cent. American lives, both readers of her novel, one a 1940s housewife, the other a modern‐day New Yorker. The Hours was filmed in 2002 with a screenplay by David Hare. Specimen Days (2005) tells three stories (one set in the historical past, one in the present, one distantly in the future), each using versions of the same group of three characters; the stories range widely, but are connected by echoes of the poetry of Whitman.

Subjects: Literature.

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