Pulitzer winner Michael Cunningham coming to Cleveland

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Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours
Even if you’re not a film buff, die-hard book nerds have a reason to get excited about the Cleveland International Film Festival this year. On March 11, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham will be in town to accept the fest’s first annual award for artists who have made “significant contributions” to both literature and film. Cunningham, who was born in Cincinnati, is a novelist with a gift for depressing but gorgeous prose. He’s best known for The Hours, a novel that chronicles one day in the lives of three women — a suicidal writer living in the 1920s, a pregnant housewife preparing for her husband’s birthday in 1949, and a modern-day editor throwing a party for a friend dying of AIDS… All are connected by the Virginia Woolf novel, Mrs. Dalloway. And each woman, including Woolf herself, is struggling to rise above the ordinary drudge of their lives. Cunningham manages to weave this complicated plot together seamlessly, and provide beautiful — even hopeful — insights along the way. The book won the Pulitzer, and the movie version won Nicole Kidman an Oscar for her portrayal of Woolf. Cunningham’s being honored for The Hours and a film version of another novel, A Home at The End of the World, about two boyhood friends from the Cleveland area who build a life together in New York. Both movies are being screened on March 11, with Cunningham on hand to take questions from the audience. That night, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., ticket-holders can also attend a reception in his honor at Tower City. For more information. – Lisa Rab

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