Neck-Deep in The

Culture In books, films and TV, John Sayles wins acclaim by championing his own kind: underdogs and outsiders

To John Sayles, it's all just storytelling. Books, music videos, screenplays, movie acting and directing -- Sayles has done each of them. And with distinction. The first short story he ever sold won an O. Henry Award in 1975. His second novel, Union Dues (1977), was nominated for both the National Book and National Book Critics Circle awards. And The Return of the Secaucus Seven, a low-budget forerunner of The Big Chill and the first movie he ever made, was cited as 1980's best screenplay by the Los Angeles film critics. No wonder the 40-year-old Sayles has a near legendary reputation...

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