56 pages 1 hour read

Thomas Pynchon

The Crying of Lot 49

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1966

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Background

Authorial Context: Thomas Pynchon and Postmodernist Literature

Content Warning: This novel discusses individuals who have an addiction and a substance-use disorder. This section also references murder and cults.

Thomas Pynchon is one of the most enigmatic and influential figures in contemporary American literature. His writing is characterized by intricate plots, labyrinthine narratives, and a unique blend of historical, cultural, and scientific references. Thomas Ruggles Pynchon Jr. was born on May 8, 1937, in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, to Thomas Ruggles Pynchon Sr. and Katherine Frances Bennett. Little is known about his early life, as Pynchon is notoriously reclusive and private. His family has deep roots in New England, and his ancestors included the famous Puritan theologian William Pynchon, who was one of the earliest settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Pynchon attended Oyster Bay High School and later studied engineering physics at Cornell University, where he earned his bachelor of arts degree in 1958. After graduating, he served in the United States Navy as a technical writer on a destroyer during the Cold War, an experience that would later influence his writing.

Following his military service, Pynchon pursued a master of arts in English from the University of Washington in 1960. It was during this period that he began to develop his distinctive

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