The Way We Live Now

Pulitzers celebrate a corn-fed Lear and a truly off-Broadway play

THE AMERICAN DREAM AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE. So it seemed fitting that literary explorations of the tattered myths that once bound this country together led the pack for this year's Pulitzer Prizes.

Novelist Jane Smiley won the fiction award for A Thousand Acres, a heartrending Americanization of King Lear in which a prosperous Iowa farmer divides his land among three daughters. Fortunate Son: The Healing of a Vietnam Vet by Lewis B. Puller Jr. was cited in the biography category. Puller, whose late father "Chesty" was America's most decorated Marine, lost both his legs while serving as a lieutenant...

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