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Thomas Pynchon

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Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. (born May 8, 1937) is an American novelist based in New York City and noted for his dense and complex works of fiction. Hailing from Long Island, Pynchon spent two years in the United States Navy and earned an English degree from Cornell University. After publishing several short stories in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he began composing the novels for which he is best known: V. (1963), The Crying of Lot 49 (1966), Gravity’s Rainbow (1973), and Mason & Dixon (1997).

Pynchon is a MacArthur Fellow and a recipient of the National Book Award, and is regularly cited as a contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature (see, for example, Gray 1993; Duvall 2002: 76; Rising 2008). Both his fiction and non-fiction writings encompass a vast array of subject matter, styles and themes, including (but not limited to) the fields of history, science, and mathematics. Pynchon is also known for his avoidance of personal publicity: very few photographs of him have ever been published, and rumors about his location and identity have been circulated since the 1960s.

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