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NEW YORK -- "Master of the Senate," Robert Caro's epic third volume of his Lyndon Johnson series, won the Pulitzer Prize for biography Monday.\nThe fiction prize went to Jeffrey Eugenides for "Middlesex," a story of sexual and ethnic identity.\nBig books prevailed in the arts. Caro's work runs 1,100 pages, Eugenides' more than 500 pages and the winner for history, Rick Atkinson's "An Army at Dawn," is just over 700 pages.\nReaching Atkinson, whose book is the first of a planned World War II trilogy, proved especially challenging. He is currently embedded in Iraq with the 101st Airborne.\n"This is so fabulous. I'm hot and tired and filthy and completely thrilled," said Atkinson, who won a Pulitzer for national reporting, in 1982, when he was at The Kansas City Times. He is currently on assignment for The Washington Post.\nIn the drama category, voters bypassed three-time Pulitzer winner Edward Albee, a finalist for "The Goat," and chose the little-known "Anna in the Tropics," by Nilo Cruz.\nIn the play, a cigar factory owner's daughter has an affair with a lector, a man hired to read to the workers while they toil. One of the books he reads is Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina," and the novel soon mirrors the action on stage.\nCruz found out that he had won the prize while at the train station in New Haven, Conn., where he was teaching a class in playwrighting at Yale University.\n"I was in shock," he said. "Immediately, I broke down crying. I was on this train taking me to Paradise. My play has to do with 'Anna Karenina' (in which the heroine commits suicide by jumping in front of a train), so it was so appropriate."\nThe general nonfiction prize went to "A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide," by Samantha Power, who has already won the National Book Critics Circle award. The winner for poetry was "Moy Sand and Gravel" by Paul Muldoon. And the prize for music went to "On the Transmigration of Souls," by John Adams, which the New York Philharmonic premiered.\nAdams' work is a tribute to victims, survivors and heroes of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. \nCaro, too, has known both success and controversy. He won the Pulitzer in 1975 for "The Power Broker," an often devastating chronicle of the mighty municipal builder Robert Moses. He has spent the past quarter century investigating Johnson, to great acclaim, strong sales and considerable abuse.\nThe first two books, "The Path to Power" and "Means of Ascent," each won a National Book Critics Circle award, but also led some commentators and Johnson aides to accuse Caro of hating his subject and distorting his life.\nCaro has insisted from the beginning that he considered Johnson a creature of both ambition and benevolence and "Master of the Senate" emphasized his legislative genius in getting Congress, in 1957, to pass the first civil rights bill of the 20th century.\n"You know, there's been a lot of struggle in doing these books, a lot of attacks on me from the Johnson loyalists," Caro said Monday. "But I think I always held onto what I learned in school, that if a book was done truly enough, it would endure."\nThe fiction prize for "Middlesex" almost surely marks a milestone in Pulitzer history: the first book so honored to be narrated by a hermaphrodite, loosely defined as someone with both male and female sexual organs.\nMuldoon, a native of Northern Ireland, has been writing poetry since he was 17. Currently director of Princeton University's creative writing program, Muldoon has experimented with many forms of poetry, from haiku to sestina.
WASHINGTON -- The new chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia, has big plans for the agency: a national tour of Shakespeare's plays, a national poetry recitation contest, programs for rural and military communities.\nAbove all, he wants to change the NEA's image. A decade after conservatives objected to such federally funded projects as Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs, which featured sadomasochistic themes, Gioia acknowledges that even he often defines the NEA by its most difficult time.\n"I think my feelings toward the endowment are much like many Americans'. It's that this absolutely great institution got caught in the culture wars," he said Tuesday during an interview at his office, a bright, spacious room just down the road from the White House.\n"The reason I came here ... was a conviction we need to restore the endowment to its rightful place as one of the premier institutions in the United States."\nGioia, 52, has both an artistic and commercial background. He is a poet who won a 2002 American Book Award for his third book of verse, "Interrogations at Noon." He is also a former vice president for marketing at General Foods Corp.\nNominated by President Bush and confirmed unanimously by the Senate in January to a four-year term, Gioia succeeds Michael P. Hammond, who died last year after just a week in office.\nGioia presides over an organization founded during the peak of government activism, the 1960s, and still recovering from near-extinction in the 1990s. Funding for the current fiscal year is $115.7 million, much better than a few years ago, but far below what it received in the early 1980s, when the budget topped $150 million.\n"My role ... is to come in and try to build a consensus, a bipartisan consensus that we fund the arts," he said, noting he has met with Congressional leaders from both parties and dined at the White House with the president and first lady Laura Bush.\n"In our history, we have given 120,000 grants, of which 11 are controversial. What is the percentage? Would you put an automaker out of business because out of 120,000 cars there are problems with 11"
NEW YORK -- When a customer enters the Politics & Prose bookstore and wants to learn more about Iraq, store owner Carla Cohen has a number of suggestions.\nDavid Fromkin's "A Peace to End All Peace," a general history of the Middle East. "Republic of Fear," Kanan Makiya's analysis of contemporary Iraq. Bernard Lewis' "The Middle East: A Brief of History of the Last 2,000 Years."\n"I just lay out all the materials for them and let the customer decide," said Cohen, a leading independent bookseller whose store is based in Washington, D.C.\nReaders at Politics & Prose and elsewhere are also buying Kenneth Pollack's "The Threatening Storm," which calls for Saddam Hussein's overthrow. Others have sought out such anti-war books as "War on Iraq" featuring an interview with former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter.\n"The Threatening Storm," which has 105,000 copies in print, is considered highly credible because Pollack is a former intelligence official who served under both Democratic and Republican presidents. As a CIA analyst during the administration of George Bush, he predicted Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.\nThe title of Pollack's book refers to Winston Churchill's multivolume memoir, "The Gathering Storm," in which the British statesman chronicled the rise of Nazi Germany.\nPollack writes a detailed history of Saddam Hussein's rise to power, his human rights abuses and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, and concludes that overthrowing Saddam is the best solution -- the sooner the better.\nAnother anti-war book, Milan Rai's "War Plan Iraq," lists 10 reasons for not attacking. Norman Solomon's "Target Iraq" criticizes the media as biased in favor of government and corporate officials.
NEW YORK -- The threatened war with Iraq has politicized the nation's poets, starting at the very top.\nIn comments rarely heard from a sitting U.S. poet laureate, Billy Collins has publicly declared his opposition to war and says he finds it increasingly difficult to keep politics out of his official job as a literary advocate.\nWhile at least three of Collins' predecessors also have stated their opposition to war, an incumbent laureate usually sticks to art for art's sake. Poets laureate are not political appointees; the selection is made by the Librarian of Congress, a post currently held by James H. Billington. Collins, who receives an annual stipend of $35,000, is serving his second one-year term.\nA spokeswoman for the Library of Congress said Tuesday, "Mr. Collins is free to express his own opinions on any subject."\nCollins, whose books include "Questions About Angels" and "Nine Horses," is a mostly introspective poet who doesn't have a history of political activism. But he defended anti-war poets who last week caused the White House to postpone a symposium sponsored by first lady Laura Bush.\n"If political protest is urgent, I don't think it needs to wait for an appropriate scene and setting and should be as disruptive as it wants to be," Collins said in a recent e-mail to The Associated Press.\n"I have tried to keep the West Wing and the East Wing of the White House as separate as possible because I support what Mrs. Bush has done for the causes of literacy and reading. But as this country is being pushed into a violent confrontation, I find it increasingly difficult to maintain that separation."\nCollins, Nobel laureate Derek Walcott, former U.S. poet laureate Richard Wilbur and about 40 other writers and artists signed an anti-war petition last month.\nIn England, meanwhile, poet laureate Andrew Motion has written an anti-war poem that cites "elections, money, empire, oil" as the motivation for war.\nConcern about a possible war has also changed what had been a relatively positive relationship between Mrs. Bush and the literary community. A former librarian who has made teaching and early childhood development her signature issues, she has held a series of symposiums to salute America's authors.\nShe planned a Feb. 12 forum on "Poetry and the American Voice," featuring the works of Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman. Through her spokeswoman, Noelia Rodriguez, Mrs. Bush said last Wednesday that it would be "inappropriate to turn a literary event into a political forum" and postponed the forum. It has not been rescheduled.
NEW YORK -- The White House said Wednesday it postponed a poetry symposium because of concerns that the event would be politicized. Some poets had said they wanted to protest military action against Iraq.\nThe symposium on the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman was scheduled for Feb. 12. No future date has been announced.\n"While Mrs. Bush respects the right of all Americans to express their opinions, she, too, has opinions and believes it would be inappropriate to turn a literary event into a political forum," Noelia Rodriguez, spokeswoman for first lady Laura Bush, said Wednesday.\nMrs. Bush, a former librarian who has made teaching and early childhood development her signature issues, has held a series of White House symposiums to salute America's authors. The gatherings are usually lively affairs with discussions of literature and its societal impact.\nBut the poetry symposium soon inspired a nationwide protest.\nSam Hamill, a poet and founder of the highly regarded Copper Canyon Press, declined the invitation and e-mailed friends asking for anti-war poems or statements. He encouraged those who planned to attend to bring along anti-war poems.\nHamill said he's gotten more than 1,500 contributions, including ones from poets W.S. Merwin, Adrienne Rich and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.\n"I'm putting in 18-hour days. I'm 60 and I'm tired, but it's pretty wonderful," says Hamill, based in Port Townsend, Wash., and author of such works as "Destination Zero" and "Gratitude."\nMarilyn Nelson, Connecticut's poet laureate, said Wednesday that she had accepted the White House invitation and had planned to wear a silk scarf with peace signs that she commissioned.\n"I had decided to go because I felt my presence would promote peace," she said.
NEW YORK -- Norman Mailer did not expect to make it to 40, and now finds himself twice that age.\nHe has lived longer than Ernest Hemingway and most of his other literary heroes. His body aches, but his mind remains strong.\nBut a man famous for swooning to his own song does none of that during a recent interview. While he plans to celebrate with family and friends, he also worries.\n"I always liked the number 80. ... But I think you pass a certain border at that point. How long are you going to be able to keep writing? There are not that many good writers at 80," says Mailer, whose birthday is Friday.\nThe author of such classics as The Naked and the Dead and The Executioner's Song has just published The Spooky Art, a work on writing that's as much compiled as it is written.\nReprints of old essays and interviews fill out a 310-page treatise that includes essays on "stamina" and "the occult" and some advice worthy of a man married six times: "It's not a good idea to try to put your wife into your novel. Not your latest wife, anyway."\nReviews have been mixed and the author wonders when, and if, he'll finish a book again. He's working on a "big novel" that he declines to discuss and doubts he'll get to a promised sequel to his 1,300 page-novel, Harlot's Ghost, which came out in 1991 and ends with a cliffhanger: "TO BE CONTINUED."\nMailer spent his 70th birthday in Moscow and the climate is no softer in New York on this icy afternoon. The heat isn't working at his Brooklyn riverfront loft, so the barrel-chested Mailer wears a big blue parka and coughs a good, lusty cough.\n"My knees are old, my hearing is going and some of my senses are diminished," he says, sitting at an oak reading table near the window, reclining against a small hard chair that doesn't lean back in return.\n"But my brain is not too old, maybe 50. I have always looked upon aging as analogous to being an old freighter and to sail through heavy seas you have to throw some things overboard. You give up certain senses. In my case, I wanted to keep my mind reasonably alive."\nBorn in Long Branch, N.J., and raised in Brooklyn, Mailer is an accountant's son who studied engineering at Harvard University but dreamed of literary glory. He served as an infantryman in the Philippines during World War II and made memorable use of his experiences in The Naked and the Dead, which made him famous at 25.\n"When I started out, one could really take the vocation most seriously -- Hemingway, (William) Faulkner, (John) Steinbeck, (John) Dos Passos. ... You had the feeling you could really change the nature of the country," he says.\n"To this day, when you hear a Russian say the word 'Pushkin,' they don't say 'Pushkin.' They say 'Poooshkin,' as if they're about to kiss a baby's bottom, because they love (Alexander) Pushkin so much."\nLiving up to his debut novel became his burden, relieved only in the 1960s when he was reborn as a literary journalist, the violent but visionary chronicler of presidential conventions, anti-war marches, boxing matches and the death penalty.\nHe won two Pulitzer Prizes, for The Armies of the Night and The Executioner's Song. He had nine children, nearly murdered his second wife, ran for New York City mayor, and was banned from a YMHA in Manhattan for writing obscene poetry.\n"I was living a life on the edge," he says. "I thought I'd never reach 40."\nThe Executioner's Song came out in 1979. But none of his recent books, including Oswald's Tale and Ancient Evenings, have received much acclaim. In turn, he finds the world less interesting: bland, stagnant, corporate.\nFor years, Mailer has brought reporters to his window and pointed in despair at the skyline of lower Manhattan, a view worth far more to real estate agents than to the author, who likens all the glassy skyscrapers to boxes of Kleenex.\nMailer once wrote public letters to heads of state, and even met President Kennedy, but now believes those in power have little reason to bother with him. He laughs at the idea of a meeting with President Bush -- "Would he listen?" -- and remembers a 1972 lunch with then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan and some fellow reporters.\n"He was like a public relations man from a medium-sized Midwest corporation -- kind of clean, neat, slightly pleasant, slightly dull," he says.\n"But he never once looked into my eyes. He knew there was nothing he could gain from a conversation with me. I realized that's why this man has risen so high. He's never made the mistake of talking to a man who was of no use to him"
NEW YORK -- When "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" comes out this summer, many young readers will rush to their local libraries to get a copy.\nBut for this -- and other books -- they likely will receive a lesson in patience.\nBecause of budget cuts, libraries are struggling to have enough Potter books. In New York City, for example, the number of ordered copies has dropped from 956 for the last release, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," to 560 for the new one.\n"I wish this book had come out two years ago, when we had more money," said Margaret Tice, the New York City library system's coordinator for children's services.\nIn Clinton, Wis., population about 2,000, the public library expects up to 100 requests for the new book. Meanwhile, the library's budget has been cut by double digits.\n"Getting the Potter book means not getting something else," said Clinton library director Michelle Dennis, who said she won't be buying any children's nonfiction this year, including a set of encyclopedias she had hoped to order.\nBooksellers are celebrating the recent announcement that J.K. Rowling's fifth Harry Potter story will be released June 21. But the news only highlights the current crisis of public libraries.\nHaving sustained substantial reductions over the past year, libraries face an unhappy choice: fail to meet the demands of all those Potter fans or take money from another part of the budget.\n"It's an age-old problem for public libraries -- the conflict between choosing best sellers and spending money on other things. And when budgets are cut, the problem is that much harder," said Maurice J. Freedman, president of the American Library Association.\n"I can certainly see how some libraries are in a tough position. It's a problem that affects everyone and everything," said Neal Goff, president of Scholastic Library Publishing, a division of Scholastic Inc., the U.S. publisher for the Potter books.\nGoff said that libraries get a standard 40 percent discount, but no special deals were planned for those short of money.\nAt the Bruggemeyer Memorial Library in Monterey Park, Calif., cuts in funding already mean that 800 fewer children's books will be bought this year, from 5,600 titles down to 4,800. Library director Linda Wilson said the budget could shrink even more.\n"We bought six copies of the last Potter book and I suspect we're going to buy at least that many this time. But if we do, we're not going to be purchasing another title," Wilson said.\nWhen budgets are tight, all decisions are hard. But Harry Potter stands out. Worldwide sales of the four previous books top 190 million copies, and no other fiction book is as popular with library patrons.\nAt the Clinton library, where policy is to order just one copy of any fiction book, Dennis said she hopes to buy three copies of Rowling's "Order of the Phoenix." Seattle's library system expects to have at least 150 copies, much higher than for the next most popular author, John Grisham; about 100 copies are usually ordered for his novels.\n"From what we're hearing, libraries are going to satisfy the demand for the Potter book and then figure out how much money is left for other things," Goff said.\nLike few other books, the Potter stories also serve a librarian's core mission: getting kids to read. Librarians worry that delays could spoil a special chance to nurture a lifelong passion.\n"Because of the Potter books, kids who are very reluctant readers have discovered the joy of the written word," Dennis said. "And that's supposed to be our No. 1 priority. Kids read Harry Potter, and another book and another book"
NEW YORK -- A Random House executive forced out of her job for not generating enough profits has joined a leading rival, the Penguin Group.\nAnn Godoff, who published such best sellers at Random House as Caleb Carr's The Alienist and Zadie Smith's White Teeth, will become president and publisher of her own imprint at Penguin.\n"The Penguin Group is the perfect environment for those authors whose careers I've shared for many years and also those authors whose careers I've yet to find," Godoff said in a statement issued by Penguin on Monday.\nA Random House spokesman said he was not concerned about the possibility that Godoff might lure away some of her favorite writers.\n"Our authors' representatives know us as a company that honors its contracts and as a company who expects those who have contracts with us to honor them as well," said Random House spokesman Stuart Appelbaum.\nBesides Carr and Smith, Godoff's other writers at Random House included Salman Rushdie and John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Authors at Penguin include Saul Bellow, Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwell and Amy Tan.\nGodoff's hiring by Penguin comes 10 days after her sudden, blunt departure from Random House, part of the Random House Inc. publishing group owned by the German media giant Bertelsmann.\nGodoff was publicly criticized for failing to make enough money and her imprint was merged with Ballantine Books, a Bertelsmann imprint that specializes in mass market paperbacks.\nIn a statement Monday, Penguin Group CEO David Shanks said Godoff would be joining a company that welcomes "measured risks."\nRandom House Inc. and Penguin have a history of hiring each other's top people. In late 2001, Random House signed up Phyllis Grann, who as a Penguin executive had published Clancy, Tan and many other popular writers.
NEW YORK -- The New Shanghai Circus is a family show that gets right into the act. Without so much as a hello to the kids, the lights go down, the curtain rises and you're captured by the red ribbons and human roars of the lion dance. \nThe circus has roots in ancient times, in the harvest festivals of the Han Dynasty. But there is nothing dated about defying the limits of strength and grace. Against a rotating backdrop of bridges, waterfalls and China's Great Wall, performers roller skate on tables, bend bows of metal or use their feet to shoot an arrow while hanging upside down atop a fellow acrobat's head. \nNo matter how heavy the lifting, the touch remains light at the New Shanghai Circus, which just started a six-week run at Broadway's New Victory Theater. The secret is in the open, friendly smiles, as if the dozen or so acrobats, contortionists and magicians were just nice people who in their spare time like to balance bowls on their heads while riding unicycles. (In other words, they are committed professionals who rehearse until they ache.) \nThe Shanghai troop makes for the best kind of company -- joyous but never hammy, modest but never coy. The spirit is less of showing off than of shared adventure. When an acrobat fails to cleanly vault through a hoop some 10 feet high, balanced upon four others, his assistants simply reset the hoops and let him try again. \nAt the end of a "plate spinning'' piece, in which stacks of dishes twirl atop long bamboo rods, a juggler strides to the front of the stage and lays the plates down, as if by breaking the spell she confirms that the spell had really been cast.
After Auschwitz, to write poetry is barbaric, a philosopher once concluded. A long line of poets and novelists have thought otherwise, and on Thursday, the Nobel Prize in literature went to Imre Kertesz, a Hungarian novelist and Auschwitz survivor. \nHonoring the 72-year-old Budapest Jew for his uncommon, single-minded gift for saying the unsayable, the Swedish Academy singled out his 1975 debut novel, "Sorstalansag" ("Fateless"), about a young man who is taken to a concentration camp but conforms and survives. \n"For him Auschwitz is not an exceptional occurrence," the academy said. "It is the ultimate truth about human degradation in modern experience." \nKertesz was deported in 1944 to Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland, then to the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, where he was liberated in 1945. Of the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust, some 600,000 were Hungarian. \nKertesz is the first Hungarian to win the award, worth about $1 million. \n"My immediate reaction is one of great joy. It means very much to me," he told The Associated Press in Berlin, where he is on a teaching scholarship. \nSince the end of World War II, writers and scholars have debated how to make art out of the Holocaust and whether they even can and should. "To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric," the philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote in 1949. \nKertesz was honored for writing "that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history," in the citation by the Swedish Academy. \nWiesel, an Auschwitz survivor who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, applauded the award. \n"He is a great writer," Wiesel said. "His style and his approach are of such high quality that he deserved to be given the highest prize in literature." \n"Fateless" was the first of a trilogy of novels reflecting on the Holocaust. In "Fiasco", published in 1988, an aging author writes a novel about Auschwitz that he expects to be rejected. When the book, to his surprise, is published, he feels only emptiness and a loss of privacy.
NEW YORK -- A federal judge has rejected a writer's claims that she was plagiarized by "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling and in turn fined her $50,000, saying she "perpetuated a fraud." \nU.S. District Judge Allen G. Schwartz found only minimal similarities between the multimillion-selling fantasy series and books by Pennsylvania-based children's author Nancy Stouffer. \n"The court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that Stouffer has perpetuated a fraud … through her submission of fraudulent documents as well as through her untruthful testimony," the judge wrote in an opinion dated Tuesday. \nThe ruling was a summary judgment on claims and counterclaims dating back to 1999 between Stouffer and Rowling and her representatives, including Rowling's U.S. publisher, Scholastic, and Time Warner Entertainment Co., which owns film and merchandising rights. \n"We never had any doubt that Harry Potter and his world came from the rich and extraordinary imagination of J.K. Rowling," Scholastic president Barbara Marcus said in a statement Wednesday. \nStouffer's attorney, Thomas McNamara, said he was considering new filings. \n"We were surprised and disappointed with the decision," he said. "We were particularly troubled by the court's determination that she submitted falsified evidence. She adamantly denies that." \nStouffer has said she wrote several books in the 1980s, including "The Legend of Rah and the Muggles," and a series of "Larry Potter" stories. She said each title had a first printing of 100,000, and all sold out within a week.\nRowling's first Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone", came out in 1997. \nRah and the Muggles and some "Larry Potter" books were released last year by Thurman House, a Baltimore-based company that has since gone out of business. Sales were poor and the major superstore chains, Barnes & Noble and Borders, declined to stock them, citing inferior quality. \nStouffer's primary complaint against Rowling concerned references to "Muggles" in the Harry Potter books. Stouffer claims her Muggles, who populate "The Legend of Rah and the Muggles", came first. \nIn Rowling's books, "Muggles" is the word wizards use for non-magical humans. In Stouffer's world, Muggles are bald, mutated nuclear holocaust survivors whose dark and polluted land becomes a happy place after they end up caring for orphaned twin boys. \n"Stouffer has not produced any evidence indicating that there has been actual confusion between the two uses," wrote Schwartz, who also disputed allegations by Stouffer that she had received e-mails from readers noting similarities between her work and Rowling's. \n"There is nothing in the record, beyond Stouffer's conclusory allegations, which indicates Stouffer ever received such letters," Schwartz wrote. \nSchwartz also questioned whether she created the "Larry Potter" character before Rowling's series debuted. A title page and other materials supposedly dating back to the 1980s used technology not in existence at the time, he ruled. \nIn addition, Schwartz found that Stouffer had produced invoices for sales that never took place and submitted an advertisement from the 1980s that was later altered to include the word "Muggles"
NEW YORK -- Jessica Hagedorn, a fiction writer, expects her next novel to feature a mother, a child and a detective in present-day New York City. What worries her is how, or if, she should weave in the events of Sept. 11.\n"You can't sort of dance around it, but I don't want to make a thing of it, either," Hagedorn said. She is the author of Dogeaters and several other books. "It's so recent and still so deep and bewildering. I feel there isn't enough distance yet, and I'm leery of anyone who would want to try."\nNeil LaBute, a playwright and filmmaker, is ready to try right now. His new play, "The Mercy Seat," has a theme as old as civilization, adultery, but a setting quite near in our memories: New York, the day after the terrorist attacks.\n"It's the kind of relationship drama I have investigated in other writing, but the kind of moral choices they are making in their relationship and in their lives is influenced because of that day," LaBute said.\nA year after the terrorists struck, artists are finding the attacks both unavoidable and unmentionable, too great to ignore for some and too great to contain for others.\n"They shadow everything," Hagedorn says.\nHollywood, which delayed "Collateral Damage," about a firefighter seeking revenge for a terrorist bombing, and other movies last fall, remains reluctant to take on Sept. 11. Some filmmakers hesitate even to bring it up.\n"There may be proposals circulating about Sept. 11, but I don't think anyone is quite prepared to make a statement on a dramatic level," said Robert Dowling, editor-in-chief and publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, an industry trade journal.\nTelevision networks have mostly stuck to straight news coverage, but a handful of narrative dramas are planned. ABC has a movie, "Report From Ground Zero," due to air Sept. 10, telling the story of the first firefighters to arrive at the World Trade Center. Early next year, Jeff Goldblum will star as a combat correspondent in NBC's "War Stories," in which, the network says, "The war on terrorism gets front-page coverage."\nSongwriters have addressed the attacks from the start, and the commitment is deepening. Tributes such as Neil Young's "Let's Roll" and Paul McCartney's "Freedom" came out last fall, along with the militantly patriotic "Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American)," by Toby Keith.\nFor fiction writers, Sept. 11 is also evolving from topical reference to emotional subtext. New novels by E. Lynn Harris, Pete Hamill and Nick Tosches mention the attacks, but within books largely written before.\nNow, writers must begin in a world where Sept. 11 always existed. Sandra Cisneros, author of the story collection "Woman Hollering Creek" and the novel "Carmelo," said she is interested in stories featuring Muslims.\n"I want to write them precisely because of this fear of Muslim people," Cisneros said. "I feel like I have to write about them and make them human."\nAuthor A.M. Homes, playwright John Guare and poet Richard Howard are among the 110 New York-based contributors to 110 Stories, a literary anthology coming out this fall from New York University Press. The project pays tribute to the number of stories in the fallen towers.\nThe book's editor, Ulrich Baer, says that some authors had difficulty writing and that at least one ended up not participating, like Marie Ponsot, an award-winning poet best known for her collection, The Bird Catcher.\n"I wrote her a letter outlining what we were doing and she sent me back a card that said, 'Thank you so much for your invitation and I will try to write something for it,'" explains Baer, a professor of German and comparative literature at NYU.\n"Two weeks after that, I called her at home and we talked for a while. And she said, 'I have the beginning of the poem, I have the end, but I don't have the middle! Give me five years and I can give you a poem."