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Don DeLillo

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Don DeLillo (born November 20, 1936) is an American author whose work paints a detailed portrait of American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He has published four plays and fifteen novels, among the best known of which are White Noise (1985), Libra (1988), Mao II (1991), Underworld (1997), and Falling Man (2007). White Noise won a National Book Award, and Underworld was the runner-up in a 2006 poll of major writers about the best books in the past half-century conducted by the New York Times (after Toni Morrison’s Beloved). DeLillo also won the Jerusalem Prize in 1999 and the Common Wealth Award for Literature in 2009.

DeLillo is widely considered by modern critics to be one of the central figures of literary . He has said the primary influences on his work and development are “abstract expressionism, foreign films, and jazz.” Many of DeLillo’s books (notably White Noise) satirize academia and explore postmodern themes of rampant consumerism, novelty intellectualism, underground conspiracies, the disintegration and re-integration of the family, and the promise of rebirth through violence. In several of his novels, DeLillo explores the idea of the increasing visibility and effectiveness of terrorists as societal actors and, consequently, the displacement of what he views to be artists’, and particularly novelists’, traditional role in facilitating social discourse (Players, Mao II, Falling Man). Another perpetual theme in DeLillo’s books is the saturation of mass media and its role in forming simulacra which serve to remove an event from its context and alter or drain its inherent meaning (see the highway shooter in Underworld

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