New Haven resident Debby Applegate’s The Most Famous Man in America won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. She talks to LoHud.com about her journey from idea to book to prize. Today, the 2008 winners will be announced. The story of Plymouth Church of the Pilgrim’s Henry Ward Beecher is a must read for any Heights resident:
LoHud.com: Pulitzer Promises: Applegate became intimately acquainted with Beecher – she calls him Henry – during her years at Amherst College. She graduated in 1989. He was the topic of her Yale University doctoral dissertation in 1998…
“It’s like putting together a puzzle,” Applegate said. “Out of graduate school, I didn’t know how to write and revise. I had to put myself on a self-apprenticeship program on how to write mysteries, thrillers, porn, how to move your reader.
“What I wanted to do with Henry was create suspense. You can’t know what happened in his study or in Brooklyn Heights with Elizabeth Tilton. You let the reader decide by presenting the information.”