pluck a pair of Pulitzers
Two different takes
on the American experience won 1998 Pulitzer Prizes for their authors,
Katharine Graham, ABí38, chair of the executive committee of the
Washington Post Company, and novelist Philip Roth, AMí55.
The memoir Personal
History (Alfred A. Knopf), which won in the biography category,
tells of Grahamís privileged upbringing, her childhood with emotionally
distant parents, and her marriage to Philip Graham, who took over
the Washington Post from her father. When her husbandís mental
illness culminated in suicide, Graham took over as president of
the Washington Post Company, learning the business from the ground
up, challenging the male world of newspaper journalism, and guiding
the Post through the Pentagon Papers and Watergate. Graham,
87, a life trustee of the U of C, also writes about her days in
(Houghton Mifflin), which won for fiction, begins with familiar
Roth protagonist Nathan Zuckerman attending a high-school reunion.
But the novel soon shifts its focus to Zuckermanís classmate Swede
Levov, whose daughter, Merry, becomes a political terrorist in the
1960s. Twice a winner of the National Book Award in fiction (for
Goodbye, Columbus and Sabbathís Theater), Roth has
written 22 books.