Stories of oppression win arts categories

— Stories of oppression both home and abroad were rewarded with Pulitzer Prizes on Monday.

Edward P. Jones won the fiction prize for "The Known World," a novel about a black slave owner. In history, the winner was Steven Hahn for "A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South From Slavery to the Great Migration."

Anne Applebaum's "Gulag," a history of the brutal Soviet labor camps, won for general nonfiction, while another book about the Soviet Union, William Taubman's "Khrushchev," was cited for biography.

The Pulitzer for drama went to Doug Wright for "I Am My Own Wife," the tale of a real-life German transvestite who survived both the Nazis and the Communists.

"I am in a state of disbelief," said Wright, who was directing a play in the East Village when he heard the news Monday.

The award for music went to "Tempest Fantasy" by Paul Moravec, who has created more than 80 other compositions. He currently heads the music department at Adelphi University on Long Island.

The poetry winner was Franz Wright for "Walking to Martha's Vineyard." Wright, of Waltham, Mass., was a Pulitzer finalist in 2002 for his collection, "The Before Life." He has won the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry for earlier work.

The Pulitzer was a shot of energy on an otherwise down day for Jones, author of a previous book, the acclaimed story collection "Lost in the City." He was feeling so ill Monday he didn't bother at first to answer his phone. He also was in the middle of moving from his longtime home in Arlington, Va., because of noisy upstairs neighbors.

"This (award) should give me strength to finish up tomorrow," said Jones, who next week expects to move into Washington, D.C.

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