Even among reclusive novelists, Thomas Pynchon reigns anonymously supreme. Almost nothing is known about the author of some of the most seminal, mysterious and generally difficult works of 20th century fiction, and the novelist would like to keep it that way. Pynchon has avoided nearly all media since the 1963 publication of his first book, V., and only a few known photos of him exist. When his 1973 novel Gravity's Rainbow won the National Book Award, Pynchon had someone else accept on his behalf. He has denied all publicity requests but one: in 2004, he agreed to appear on The Simpsons. Pynchon even lent his own voice to his character, which was drawn with a bag over its head.