Thomas Pynchon (Born 1937) was an American author. His works include V (1963), Gravity's Rainbow (1973), and Vineland (1990).
Life and works
Pynchon was born May 8, 1937. He studied at Cornell University in both arts and sciences, during which time he served in the Navy for two years. He rejected teaching offers to write short stories in Greenwich Village and later worked at Boeing in Seattle, during which time he produced several short stories.
He is best known for his novels, such as V, about Benny Profane's wanderings across the eastern United States and Herbert Stencil's tracking of a woman called V; The Crying of Lot 49, about a woman called Oedipa who attempts to discover a 16th century postal group called the Tristero; Vineland, about a group trying to expose Richard Nixon's secrets; and Mason & Dixon, a ridiculous retelling of some 18th century American history with mechanical animals and real politicians.
Gravity's Rainbow, about a German V-2 rocket and the people that follow it shortly after World War Two, is considered his most famous work. All of his works are known for complicated and unclear plots.
- The New York Public Library Student's Desk Reference. Prentice Hall, New York: 1991.
- "Pynchon, Thomas." Encyclopedia Britannica Online.