Channeling Walt Whitman

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photoIn 1998, writer Michael Cunningham struck pay dirt and took home a Pulitzer with "The Hours." The Virginia Wolfe-infused novel was adapted for the big screen and actress Nicole Kidman won the Oscar for her performance.

Now, Cunningham is back with a new novel called "The Specimen." It is made up of three novellas stitched together by a big moral vision.

A trio of characters is reincarnated in each of the stories set in New York at three different points in time: the mid-19th century, today in the aftermath of 9/11, and in the future. Presiding over each episode of this meta-story is Walt Whitman who promised his future readers: "It avails not, neither time nor place ... I am with you, and know how it is."

Hear a conversation with author Michael Cunningham about his new novel, "The Specimen."


Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the bestselling novel "The Hours." His new novel is "Specimen Days."

This program aired on June 24, 2005.


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