TITLE: Library of Congress Honors Herman Wouk with Literary Award
SPEAKER: Various, Herman Wouk
EVENT DATE: 09/10/2008
RUNNING TIME: 115 minutes
Writer Herman Wouk received the first Library of Congress Lifetime Achievement Award for the Writing of Fiction. During this event, ABC News' Martha Raddatz, William Safire of The New York Times and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read from Wouk's novels. Jimmy Buffett spoke about his relationship with Wouk and performed songs from the musical "Don't Stop the Carnival," based on Wouk's novel of the same name. The event also marked the donation of Wouk's papers to the Library of Congress.
Speaker Biography: Herman Wouk was born in 1915 and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., by Russian Jewish immigrant parents. He graduated from Columbia University in 1934 at the age of 20, soon thereafter was writing radio scripts and by 1936 was working for Fred Allen. Wouk's first publication was the short play "The Man in the Trench Coat" (1941), followed by "Aurora Dawn" (1947). He won the Pulitzer Prize for one of his most popular works, "The Caine Mutiny" (1951), which was made into a play starring Henry Fonda and a film starring Humphrey Bogart, with each actor playing the role of the erratic Captain Queeg. The novel draws on Wouk's experiences in the Navy during World War II. Wouk's epic novels about World War II and the Holocaust, "The Winds of War" (1971) and "War and Remembrance" (1978), were made into award-winning television miniseries in 1983 and 1989. Wouk's novels are known for their richly detailed stories and historical accuracy, the result of extensive research, much of it conducted at the Library of Congress.