The Associated Press

NEW YORK _ Playwright Edward Albee won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize on Tuesday for his drama "Three Tall Women," ending a nearly 20-year drought of commercial and artistic recognition.

The play opens Tuesday night off-Broadway after a successful run off-off-Broadway. It was Albee's third Pulitzer, the last coming 19 years ago.

In fiction, the prize went to E. Annie Proulx for her novel "The Shipping News." She previously won the National Book Award for fiction for that work, which traces a third-rate newspaper journalist who travels to Newfoundland on a journey of self-discovery.

For general non-fiction, the winner was "Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire," by David Remnick, a former Moscow correspondent for The Washington Post. The New York resident is now a staff writer for The New Yorker.

David Levering Lewis won the biography prize for "W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919." Lewis holds the Martin Luther King Jr. chair in history at Rutgers University. He authored several other books, including "King: A Biography."

There was no award given in the history category. The three finalists, all passed over by the Pulitzer jury, were "Crime and Punishment in American History," by Lawrence M. Friedman; "Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK," Gerald Posner's book endorsing the findings of the Warren Commission; and "William Faulkner and Southern History," by Joel Williamson.

The prize for poetry went to "Neon Vernacular" by Yusef Komunyakaa, a native of Bogalusa, La. The Vietnam veteran is now an associate professor of English at Indiana University.

The music award was won by Gunther Schuller for his "Of Reminiscences and Reflections." The New York native is the son of German immigrants. He has written more than 150 original compositions in various musical genre, ranging from piano concertos to jazz.

Reaction varied to news of the awards, which carry a cash prize of $3,000 and are administered by Columbia University.

Remnick said he was ready and waiting.

"I had heard I had a good chance. So I wasn't floating around on the street buying cigars," he said.

Komunyakaa, 47, said he didn't even know he had been nominated.

"I was very surprised, but in a sense, it sort of tells me that I'm going in the right direction in my work. That's my gut-level reaction," said Komun-yakaa, who has taught at Indiana since 1987.

From his English Department office in Bloomington, he discussed his plans for the rest of the day, which included teaching his 4 p.m. workshop of "young, bright writers."

"After that, I'm going to sit down and think about it," he said.

Schuller, 68, said his winning piece is a "very personal" recollection of the musical life he shared with his wife, who died 18 months ago.

"We were married 50 years and had this incredible musical life together. The piece is simply a series of reflections and reminiscences about many musical occasions in our life together," he said from his office in Newton, Mass. "It's a very intimate piece for me."

Albee, a prolific playwright whose best-known previous work is "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," won previously for "A Delicate Balance" in 1967 and "Seascape" in 1975.

He has not had a commercial hit in years and most of his recent plays have been greeted coolly by critics.


NEW YORK _ Laurence Fishburne's mother says she needs rent money from her famous son but he's lost to the "sycophantic and bombastic swirl of the Hollywood lifestyle," the Daily News reported Tuesday.

Hattie Fishburne says she makes $600 a month as an adjunct professor at the College of New Rochelle and is six months behind in her rent.

"I just thought he'd come around, that he was having an extended stint of adolescence," she said of her son.

The actor's spokeswoman, Michelle Marx, told The Associated Press on Tuesday: "I doubt there's going to be any comment."

Fishburne, 32, in movies since he was 14, was nominated for an Academy Award this year for portraying Ike Turner in "What's Love Got To Do With It?"


SALEM, Mass. _ Spike Lee rapped "gangsta rap," saying it encourages black men to do the wrong thing.

Speaking to about 1,000 students Monday at Salem State College, Lee said some rap music glamorizes the mistreatment of women.

"I'm not going to stand on the stage and be Tipper Gore," Lee said. "But there is such a thing as good taste."

Lee's films include "Malcolm X," "Do the Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever."


LOS ANGELES _ Timothy Dalton has given up the spy game, saying he won't play Agent 007 again.

"I have now made this difficult decision," said Dalton, who played the role of James Bond in two motion pictures.

But producers won't be retiring the number, although the still-untitled 17th film in the Bond series lacks a star, director and start date.

United Artists president John Calley said he was confident the next Bond movie would be in theaters in summer 1995.

Dalton was credited by critics with making his Bond a leaner and meaner character.

He is in South Carolina this week filming "Scarlett," in which he plays Rhett Butler.


CONYERS, Ga. _ Actor Howard Rollins pleaded innocent to driving under the influence of cocaine and other charges in his third round in traffic court.

Rollins, a former star of the TV show "In the Heat of the Night," was arrested Nov. 6 after a police officer saw his car weaving and detected the odor of alcohol.

Police said Rollins told the officer he had a drink about three hours before his car was stopped.

Rollins, 42, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer, driving with a suspended license and failing to maintain his lane.

No court date was set at Monday's hearing. He is free on $10,500 bond.

Rollins was sentenced to 90 days probation for a 1992 conviction of driving under the influence of drugs. Read Next Article