Don DeLillo

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Don DeLillo (born November 20, 1936) is an American author, playwright, and occasional essayist whose work paints a detailed portrait of American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. DeLillo's novels have tackled subjects as diverse as television, nuclear war, sports, the complexities of language, performance art, the Cold War, mathematics, the advent of the digital age, and global terrorism. He currently lives near New York City in the suburb of Bronxville.[1]


Early life

DeLillo was born on November 20, 1936 and grew up in a working-class Italian Catholic family in an Italian-American neighborhood of the Bronx in New York City, not far from Arthur Avenue.[2] Reflecting on his childhood in The Bronx, DeLillo later described how he was "...always out in the street. As a little boy I whiled away most of my time pretending to be a baseball announcer on the radio. I could think up games for hours at a time. There were eleven of us in a small house, but the close quarters were never a problem. I didn't know things any other way. We always spoke English and Italian all mixed up together. My grandmother, who lived in America for fifty years, never learned English."[3]

As a teenager, DeLillo wasn't interested in writing until taking a summer job as a parking attendant, where hours spent waiting and watching over vehicles led to a reading habit. In a 2010 interview with The Australian, DeLillo reflected on this period by saying "I had a personal golden age of reading, in my 20s and my early 30s, and then my writing began to take up so much time".[4] Among the writers DeLillo read and was inspired by in this period were James Joyce, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Ernest Hemingway, who was a major influence on DeLillo's earliest attempts at writing in his late teens.[5]

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