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In this springs off-Broadway production of Gina Gionfriddos dark comedy After Ashley, at the Vineyard Theatre, Kieran Culkin (above) played a teenager who became infamous as the 911 kid after he called in the discovery of his mothers rape and murder. The boys father capitalizes on the loss by writing a true-crime bestseller, which gives the play its title, and then hosting a TV show about sex crimes. Widely praised at the 2004 Humana Festival of New American Plays, After Ashley pillories the media, especially shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which one character singles out for its death porn. Paradoxically, the Chicago Tribune reported April 10 that Gionfriddo 97 MFA has since become a staff writer on, yes, Law & Order, though not on Special Victims Unit. Shes on Criminal Intent.

In April, Marilynne Robinson 66 won this years Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her second novel, Gilead, which Katherine A. Powers, writing in the March/April BAM, said succeeds as few novels do in giving narrative flesh to abstract theological investigations. Author of the 1981 novel Housekeeping (also a Pulitzer finalist) and two books of nonfiction, Robinson teaches at the University of Iowas Writers Workshop.

This years Pulitzer for explanatory reporting went to alumnus Gareth Cook 91, a reporter at the Boston Globe, for explaining, with clarity and humanity, the complex scientific and ethical dimensions of stem-cell research. The Pulitzer comes with a $10,000 cash award.

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